Traveling With an Autistic Child

Daily life with an Autistic child can be a challenge to say the least. What should you do if you are traveling for vacation, or another purpose? Lets look at some things a parent can do when traveling with their Autistic child.

1. Plan ahead. If at all possible plan trips far in advance. This gives you time to talk with your child and get them used to the idea of traveling. You can explain to them where they will be going, and some of the things they will be doing while away.

2. Bring items from home that your Autistic child likes. Bring their favorite toys. Bring along their pillow and blanket they use each night. Try and keep as many items that are familiar to your child with you while traveling. This can help your child to relax in their new environment.

3. Bring all their necessary medications. You do not want to be away from home and not have their medicine. Get the prescriptions refilled before the trip to make sure you do not run out.

4. Try and keep a schedule while traveling. If possible keep some of the schedule you use while at home. Try to get up and go to bed at the same time each day. Autistic children needs their schedules to feel safe.

5. Do not overload your child. If your child has a lot of sensory issues do not over load them while traveling. If you see your child getting overwhelmed go back to your hotel for a break. Warn your child if the place you are going has loud noises, or bright lights if these are issues.

6. Do not force your child to do something they are not comfortable doing. For example do not make them go to a amusement park if they do not like loud noises and lots of people. Consider bringing a qualified person to watch your child while you visit the park. They could do an activity that your child would like instead.

7. Make sure your child has something with them that has your name, and phone number where you can be reached incase the child gets lost. If your child is verbal make sure they know how to tell someone they are lost. This can be very hard for an Autistic child. They have hard time dealing with people anyway.

8. If you have to travel for an emergency try to stay calm. If you are stressed about the trip your Autistic child will pick up on this and become stressed their selves.

9. Take lots of activities the child enjoys to keep them occupied while traveling. This could be hand held games, or a portable DVD player. This can help keep your child from becoming overly bored. It can also give them something to focus on if they start to feel uneasy.

10. Notify the place where you are staying that your child is Autistic. This is very important if your child likes to wander on their own. The staff at the hotel will know if they see the child and you are not with them to contact you right away.

Traveling with an Autistic child will take some extra planning, but it can be done. Just try and keep as much structure to the trip as possible. It will make the trip more enjoyable for you and your child.

Tips for Celebrating Holidays with Your Autistic Child

Tips for Celebrating Holidays with Your Autistic Child

The holidays are all about being with family and enjoying the festivities. This can be very difficult for a child with Autism. This does not mean the holidays are ruined, it just means that as a parent you will have to take some precautions. Here are some tips for celebrating the holidays with your Autistic child.

1. Plan visits with family and friends for short time periods. If you plan short visits your child is less likely to get over tired, or overwhelmed. Keep the visitors to a few at time.

2. Do not force your child to participate in activities they do not like. If you are having a family dinner and your Autistic child does not want to sit at the table with a lot of people let them sit where they are comfortable.

3. Keep your child’s schedule. If bed time is at eight in the evening, stick to it. Explain to visitors that your child’s needs come first, and they need their sleep. Taking a sleepy child somewhere will be asking for trouble. If there is something that requires them staying up later in the evening try to get a nap in the afternoon. This will help the child enjoy the activity later in the day.

4. Spread holiday activities out over a few days. This way your child does not become too overwhelmed. There is no rule stating that you have to visit all the family in one day. They would much rather see your child in a happy mood than in the midst of a meltdown.

5. Leave your child home while Christmas shopping. If your Autistic child does not like crowds do not take them Christmas shopping. Leave them home with your spouse, or other responsible care giver. It is hard enough to deal with the crowded stores alone. It could be miserable bringing an unhappy child along.

6. Consider opening a few presents at a time. Opening Christmas presents is very exciting to a child. To a Autistic child the excitement can become overwhelming. An autistic child often has issues with over stimulation. By opening a few presents at a time the child does become to overwhelmed, and can enjoy their gifts.

7. If you have your child on a special diet make sure friends and family know this. You do not want other people feeding your child things that could ruin the progress you have made. Some people might not agree with your choices about your child’s diet. Be strong and stick to your beliefs.

8. Remember the reason for the holidays. They are meant to be spent with family and loved ones. Enjoy the holiday with your Autistic child. Be thankful for all you have in your life.

9. Reward your child for their good behavior while visiting others. This will help with unwanted behaviors. The child will know they can earn a prize so they will work harder on behaving.

10. Relax. If your child senses stress or anxiety from you they will become uneasy.

The holidays with an Autistic child can be a wonderful time with a little extra planning. Forget about the daily problems and struggles you have. Remember all the good things you have. Most of all enjoy the holidays with your Autistic child.

A Gift of Sight: Visual Perception Treatment for Autistic Children

A Gift of Sight: Visual Perception Treatment for Autistic Children

Autism effects every child differently, so it is difficult to find the exact treatments your child needs to cope with his or her symptoms. One thing that effects some autistic children (though, not all) is problems with visual perception. By using some standardized methods to help improve visual perception, you can give your child the ability to see the world more clearly, making learning and comprehension easier and possibly curbing some behavior problems as well.

Autistic children mainly have problems with sensory overload and distortion. These are some of the same problems many people not suffering from the disorder develop, and so many treatment options have become available. Individuals with autism often find, however, that the sensory overload of the world due to light, colors, contrast, shapes, and patterns, is too much to handle, causing them to act out or shut down in general. This is sometimes a genetic condition that is simply enhanced by the autism, so if the child’s parents have trouble with reading or have been otherwise treated for visual perceptive problems, there is a good chance that the child needs help as well.

The Irene Method is one effective way to treat visual perception disorders. This method uses color to create a more harmonized world. You may have heard of these methods if anyone has ever suggested using a color filter over the page when reading to be able to read better and more quickly. This method is proven to work, and if your autistic child is at the maturity level of reading, you may want to try these color filters to see if there is a difference in speed and comprehension. However, it is more likely that your autistic child will benefit from color filters during the entire day, not just when reading. Special glasses have been made using colored lenses to conquer this problem. Not every child responds the same way to every color, so it is a process of trial and error to find out which color is the one blocking the harmful light. You can also choose to use colored light bulbs in your home to help autistic individuals with their visual perception problems.

This method mainly helps children in 4 areas: depth perception, social interaction, learning, and physical well being. The colors help the child determine how far he or she is from an object, and the world becomes more three-dimensional, helping depth perception. Social interaction also improves because the child feels as though he or she is in a calmer world and can more clearly see and interpret facial expressions. The colors make it possible to learn, especially when reading, and overall, the child will feel better, because it helps reduce headaches and dizziness. By testing this technique and others to help visual perception problems, you can help your child better cope with the world and his or her autism.

Alternative Treatments for Autism

Alternative Autism Treatments

Usually the first treatment mentioned for Autism is medication. This is changing. More people are open to trying alternative treatments. Medications can have terrible side effects, so more people are looking for natural products. Here are some alternative treatments used for Autism.

Nutritional

There are several diets that can be used when treating Autism. They range from eating Gluten free products to eliminating dairy from the diet. Some Autistic children have a sensitivity to certain ingredients in food. These ingredients will contribute to behavioral problems, or meltdowns when eaten.

Omega 3’s

Omega 3 has been found to be helpful in treating Autism, as well as many other disorders. People using the Omega 3 have found better sleep patterns, social interaction, and over all health of their child. People wanting to try this alternative treatment can add fish oil to their children’s diet. Fish oil can be found in capsule for or liquid. Some children have trouble swallowing the capsule. The liquid form can be found in a flavorless type that is mixed in a drink.

Music Therapy

Several studies have found music therapy to be very beneficial to the Autistic child. Sometimes an Autistic child will sing along with music while they will not speak. This is one way of working on the child’s speech. The music can be soothing to an Autistic child. It can relax them enough to take part in an activity with other people.

Sensory Integration

Children with Autism can be very sensitive to noises, tastes, textures, and smells. Sensory integration therapy helps the child to deal with whatever it is causing them problems. It can also be used to calm a child with something like a certain smell or texture.

Speech Therapy

Speech therapy is a must for any child with Autism. Children with Autism usually misuse words. They often have a hard time understanding the meanings of words like few or many. Speech therapists can help teach gestures and communication skills to nonverbal children. They can help the child to learn how to read other people’s body language.

Play Therapy

Play therapy can be very useful when treating an Autistic child. Play therapy allows the child to relax and focus on things they enjoy. A therapist working with an autistic child will play on the floor with the child. They will give the child various toys and see if the child takes a liking to one of them. If the child begins to play the therapist will then try to interact with the child. After the therapist has formed a relationship with the child they might bring another child into play therapy. This can be a great way to get the Autistic child to play with other kids. Usually a therapist does the play therapy, however the parent can do the therapy after they have learned the techniques used.

These are just a few of the many alternative treatments available for Autism. Medication does not have to be a first resort. These can also be combined with medication for a better treatment plan.