3 tips for traveling with a special needs child

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Hi friends! The holidays are coming up and for many of us, that might mean travel. Kids with autism and other learning disabilities don’t like a change in routine. Thus, airplane travel can be quite difficult, overstimulating, and scary…. but it doesn’t have to be! Here are 3 tips to make it easier!

  1. Review this animated social story with your students/kids

Kids with autism don’t like changes in routine. Therefore, to minimize the element of surprise, you should prep your child for what to expect. This social story has tips and tricks designed to help your child understand how to behave appropriately on an airplane. It will help your kids understand that they are safe in the airplane despite turbulence and loud noises. Reviewing this video everyday leading up to your travels will help your child understand how to behave in airports. Check out this page to for interactive visual comprehension questions about the social story.

2. Role play TSA and airplane travel

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After reviewing the airplane social story, set up an imaginary airplane in your home and role play how to behave appropriately. Your child can role play finding his seat, putting his bag under the seat in front of him, and buckling his seatbelt.

In addition to role playing airplane behavior, you can also role play going through security. Remind your child of important steps for going through security like removing coats and shoes.

Role play will help your child understand how to act in these unfamiliar situations.

3. Pack fun activities to occupy your child during the flight

autism travel special education airplane activities disability

Long flights are breeding grounds for boredom…. Boredom can lead to an outburst or break down. In order to prevent this, pack fun activities to keep your child occupied in the air. Coloring books, a tablet, legos, PlayDough! Pack a bag of fun activities to keep your child happy and occupied in the flight! Don’t forget to throw in the noise cancelling headphones!