Preparing for Family Visits
This installment in our summer series will offer tips for visiting with family. Traveling in the car or by plane requires preparation. Long visits with family can also be taxing on us as we experience different routines, foods, and environments that are new to us. I hope the tips below will make your journey and family visit a pleasant experience for everyone.
Tips for Long Car Rides
- Prepare activity bags for your child
- Consider a personal DVD player
- Pack ear plugs/head phones
- Pack favorite snacks and beverages
- Have wipes on hand as needed
- Pack their favorite pillow and clothing for the ride
- Bring their favorite CDs and other media options to occupy their time
- Bring activity books for use in restaurants…don’t forget the crayons
- Let your son/daughter take photos of the journey…assist with a journal of the family vacation
- Avoid rush hour traffic if possible
- Add extra days, if feasible, to include overnights and relaxing by the pool
Tips for Air Travel
- Pack light and follow all TSA rules! Here is a helpful link: (http://www.tsa.gov/tsa-kids/parents-page)
- If possible, book a direct flight to your destination
- Inform the airlines ahead of time that you are traveling with a child with autism and special needs…they will try to accommodate your family’s needs
- Some airlines are trying to take the extra step to assist families…another helpful link: (http://blog.jetblue.com/index.php/2014/05/08/jetblue-and-autism-speaks-host-blue-horizons-for-autism-airport-rehearsal-event-at-burbank-bob-hope-airport/)
- Pack head phones to listen to preferred music or even to just block out surrounding noise
- Bring preferred activities that are easy to carry onto a plane
Tips for Visiting with Family
- Pack your pillow if you’re spending the night.
- Acknowledge the small victories your child experiences. Appreciate the challenge they may be experience as their routines have been changed.
- Try to plan quiet time for your child during the visit. Establish a location your child can go to be by themselves if they need a break from the visit.
- Make every effort to have your child’s preferred food items available during the visit
- Prepare a photo album of the family members you are visiting. Review the photos in preparation for the upcoming visit.
- Prepare family members for the unique behaviors your child may exhibit during the visit.
- Autism And More – http://www.sharonscreativecorner.com/
- Autism Speaks – http://www.autismspeaks.org/family-services/community-connections/traveling-tips-individuals-autism-and-their-families