Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trips With a Child With Sensory Needs

Going on a trip is fun and exciting and provides the much needed break from everyday routines.  But, all the unknowns and chaos associated with packing/unpacking and being on a trip can be overwhelming for a child with sensory needs.  Here are some tips to help your trip go smoother and be more enjoyable for everyone.
1- Bring gum or other motion sickness aids
    For those children prone to motion sickness, ask your doctor about motion sickness pills or other such remedy.  Some motion sickness pills are ok to give little children in small doses.  These pills can be crushed in apple sauce or pudding to allow a small child to swallow them.
2- Provide frequent movement breaks.
     Stop and get out of the car  if you are on a long car ride.  Most children need this break from sitting in order to endure a long car ride.  Encourage your child to run or jump for a while.
3- Provide lots of entertainment to keep your child occupied during the trip
    Bring books, dvds and toys for your child.  I found that it works best when they are novel toys or special toys.  I would go to the dollar store prior to the trip and pick up a bunch of toys and coloring and activity books.  These would not come out until the trip and then only one at a time.
4- During your trip, keep to familiar routines (such as bed time) as much as possible
     Children crave routine, so stick to some familiar routines in the unknown place.  Try to keep bedtime the same and at relatively the same time as at home.  Try to eat meals close to the same time.  This will allow your child to not feel too disoriented during the time away from home.

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