” In preparation, I start with a list of everything that we will need as a family and then anything extra that our son with autism might need for the trip. “
I work as a substitute teacher, mostly in special education, at the elementary school where my almost nine-year-old and ten-year-old sons attend.I also have a blog in which I aim to inspire and promote autism awareness called Nathan’s Voice.
I am an extremely visual person and use that to help him understand anything I teach him. I will utilize visual and “hands-on” props to explain Math, Science, Reading and anything he is struggling with.
Most importantly, I use lots and lots of patience when working with any child, especially mine.Life has taught me that being short doesn’t pay in the long run; all you accomplish is stressing the person you are dealing with and in the case of autism it can work against them and you.
I take the time to explain individually to my children the goal of the trip, where we will be going, with a “tentative” schedule for meals, entertainment, relaxation and sleeping arrangements to put them at ease.
Doing so removes any questions and helps my children relax so that we can all enjoy whether it is a short hop to the local McDonald’s or a weekend out of town.Then in preparation, I start with a compiled list of everything that we will need as a family and then anything extra that our son with autism might need for the trip.
Whenever they have to sit quietly for any length of time anywhere like a car or plane, I will pack clipboards, plain paper, lined paper, pencils, crayons, books to read and small toys.
Since I am a strong believer in having a backup plan – I pack their handheld electronic games that they find engaging and to help break up the long drive.And finally; I keep reward stickers or small pieces of candy to reinforce and encourage positive behavior.