Tips for Traveling with an Autistic Teen

While traveling with children can be a daunting experience, traveling with a child who has autism can bring about a whole new set of challenges. Teens on the spectrum thrive on structure and set schedules, so a vacation will require extra effort on your part to prepare your teen for this vacation. Today I’m sharing some traveling tips for traveling with a teen who’s on the autism spectrum to help make the process go as smooth as possible for everyone.
Call Places Ahead of Time
If at all possible, call all places that you’ll be visiting ahead of time. This includes hotels, airports and restaurants. Discuss any needs as well as possible accommodations that will ensure your teen with autism is able to cope in each setting during your travel.  Many places are more aware of autism and very accommodating to amend to the needs of your teenager when traveling. Calling ahead allows you to feel more confident traveling with a teen on the spectrum.
Pack Necessities and Distractions
When traveling with teen on the autism spectrum, you’ll have to be extra prepared with the items you pack. Be sure that all necessities for your teen have been packed ahead of time so that you don’t miss anything that he or she will need in order to feel comfortable while on vacation. In addition packing the necessities for your autistic teenager, you’ll need to bring along some distractions such as a portable DVD player or tablet to help deter any loud noises or frequent movements that may put your teen into a meltdown.
Practice Vacation Scenarios
Autism teens do well when they’re prepared for what’s going to happen during travel. While you cannot prepare your teen for everything that may occur, you can practice some vacation scenarios. Talk to your teen about what will happen during the vacation, give him or her a vacation itinerary so that they’re well-prepared with what to expect. Role-playing different scenarios can bring much comfort to your autistic teen and ease any anxiety they may have about traveling.
Bring Proper Identification
Many parents who travel with their special needs teenager who’s on the autism spectrum will have extra identification. This can be a bracelet or t-shirt that signifies your teen is special needs so that if any meltdowns or unexpected events occur, everyone will be able to know that your teen is autistic. This will help those who are traveling or vacationing in the same place as you to handle your teenager appropriate if something goes wrong.

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