How to use Visual Timers to help Children with Autism with Transitions

How to use Visual Timers to help Children with Autism with Transitions

*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure statement for further details. 

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Visual Timers to help with Transitions and Behaviors for Children with Autism and Special Needs

Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions about how to help children with transitions and behaviors with life skill activities. I wanted to take the time to share some of my experiences with using visual timers to help children with transitions and decrease their frustration and anger.

The concept of time can be difficult for children and teenagers to learn. If we are constantly verbally telling a child they have to do this activity for 5 minutes, but they have no idea how long 5 minutes is (they may think that seems like FOREVER) and then they can become frustrated and angry. Teaching the concept of time can be difficult, but with the help of a visual timer, the child can visually see how fast the timer is going and how much time is left before the activity can be over.

This way when they ask you, “how much time is left?” you can show them the timer and they can visually see it for themselves.

How does this help with transitions?

If you are working with a child that needs to complete an activity that they would prefer not to do, but need to (such as take a shower or brush their teeth) you can get out the timer and set a certain amount of time that they need to work on that skill for. This will give them a clear explanation of what is expected of them for time to work on that specific skill. They still may not like to complete that skill, but they will understand how long they need to participate with that skill.

I also like to use verbal cues of “First we do this… (a non-preferred activity) Then you can do this (a preferred activity). This phrase can help the child better understand what is expected of them. Both of these techniques allow you to communicate with the child in a way that they will understand better and then hopefully there won’t be as much frustration for the child. If we can give them clear expectations in a way they can understand, our hope is that they will be more successful at completing the activity.

Additionally, changes in routine and schedule can be difficult for some children. When using a visual timer, this can allow you time to explain to the child that we will need to start our next activity when the timer goes off. Allow them time to prepare for the change with setting a visual timer for about 5 minutes (or however long they need) to help them realize they need to start to clean up and move on to the next activity. This way there isn’t an abrupt change and hopefully they will do better with dealing with the change in the activity.

We have created a FREE behavioral strategies checklist for you to download that could be helpful for you and your family! Download the checklist below with your email address!

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I have compiled a list of visual timers that are available from Amazon down below. The only timer that I have personally used is the Time Timer and I loved using this timer. It was large enough for the child to see from across the room and the bright red color count down was easy to see as well. It really helped the child to understand how much time was left to work on the specific skill we were addressing. The rest of the timers listed were highly recommended from Amazon and I wanted to be able to provide you with a variety of options to choose from to see what will work best for your situation.

Time Timer

This timer was my favorite and was easy to use and set. It was easy for the child to see from across the room with the bright red coloring. I would highly recommend this timer for someone looking for a visual timer for their child.

Time Tracker Mini

This timer looked nice for a smaller space or something you could hold onto. When the time is set, the green light glows, then changes to yellow as a warning to prepare for the end of the task, and then red to indicate the end of the activity. You can also use sound to alert the child that the timer is going off as well. This could be a great tool to use to help with transitions!

Time Tracker

This time tracker timer is a larger than the mini one, but does a great job as well! It has 3 light colors as well with green, yellow, and red and then 6 sound cues as well to help the child understand how much time is remaining. Since this is a larger timer it could be used in a room or a classroom and the child would still be able to see the timer. This is another great tool to help with smoother transitions between activities.

Time Timer Watch 

This could be a great visual timer for someone a little older who wants to try to be more independent with their daily routine! This watch has three features with a clock, alarm, and countdown timer. It can also allow vibrating and audible alerts as well. This could be a great option for our teenagers and adults!

The Miracle Cube Timer

This cube timer looks like so much fun! It can easily be set for 1 minute, 3 minutes, 5 minutes, and 7 minutes! All you have to do is place the number on top that you want the timer to count down from. It could be a great tool to help with tooth brushing (to help the child understand how long to brush their teeth for) as well as hand washing! It is small and easy to take with you and can be used anywhere in the home!

Stoplight Golight Timer 

This is another timer with the green, yellow, and red stoplight features that can be easy for younger kids to understand. This timer can be set for 0-15 hours and 0-59 minutes as well as it has an audible timer as well. This could be great for kids who really love cars and would love the look of the stop light!

Talking Timer

This last timer, I wanted to include as an option for more of an auditory timer for kids that may have some visual difficulties. This is a talking timer that can talk up or down. This timer is very portable and can even clip to their shirt or belt or be free standing. This could be a great option for someone with visual difficulties.

We hope that you have found these visual timers to be helpful and we would love to hear back from you as to which timers are your favorite! Do you have one that works well for your child? We would love to hear more in the comments below!

Are you looking for some Amazing FREE Autism Resources? Check out our post or give us your email below to download our 180+ FREE Autism and Special Needs Resources!

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7 Tips on How to Make the Morning Routine Easier for Families with Teenagers with Autism

7 Tips on How to Make the Morning Routine Easier for Families with Teenagers with Autism

*This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but we could earn money that will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure for further information. 7 Tips on How to Make the Morning Routine Easier for Families with Teenagers with Autism In our family, the only morning person is my dad. The rest of us are NOT morning people. Mornings can be really hard in our family as we would rather stay up late then get up early. Are you a morning person or a night owl?

We get it, life is busy and we all have busy schedules and it can feel like mornings are super rushed to get out the door. The last thing you need in your life is to be late to work or to school.

I wanted to share some time saving tips that myself and our family has been using to help our entire family have an easier morning, but we also wanted to share tips to help your teenager with autism also have an easier morning as well.

Strategies that we have used to help make mornings easier to SAVE time and allow us to sleep in a little longer 🙂

  1. Set out your clothes the night before. We just use a table in my brothers room to lay his clothes on the night before so in the morning he can quickly grab and change his clothes. I have seen other examples of this where they even set out clothes for an entire week where they use a collapsable shelf that hangs in the closet where they have a shelf for each day of the week.
  2. Prepare meals the night before for breakfast and lunch if needed. In our family we bring our lunches to work and this is a HUGE time saver! If it is already packed and ready in the fridge all you have to do is grab and go! You can do the same for breakfast as well if you are needing to eat on the go or even quickly at home. Some on the go breakfast or lunch items that we take are cheese sticks, yogurt, granola bars, and bananas.
  3. Set your alarm 5 minutes sooner than when you need to get up for the day. I know this may not seem like a lot of time, but 5 minutes can be the difference between being late or on time to where you need to go. What if traffic is a little slower or you spill something and you need to quickly change. There can be so many what if’s in the morning that it is always a good idea to give yourself a 5 minute buffer.
  4. Do not check your email or social media accounts when you first wake up. I know it can be soooo tempting to take a peek at your emails or what is going on with Facebook when you first wake up, especially if you use your phone as an alarm, but this can take up valuable morning time that you don’t already have. We can get lost in time trap of just scrolling and lose track of time. Instead I would recommend doing some morning stretches in bed, drinking a glass of water, or using an app where you can read a short prayer or affirmation for the day so you can start your day on a positive note.
  5. If you really want to help yourself get up in the morning you can set up your alarm across the room, so that when it goes off you will have to physically get out of bed to turn off the alarm.
  6. Maybe start your day off with eating breakfast first. I know there are many times when I skip breakfast because I ran out of time and then I am starving by the time lunch or mid morning hits. If you are more motivated by food, maybe try changing up your routine and start with breakfast first during your day.
  7. Try to use a checklist to help you remember each step of your morning routine and so that you don’t forget something that you needed to take to school or to work. This can be especially helpful if you are trying to teach your child/teenager how to be more responsible for themselves in the morning and save mom some time in the morning with allowing the kids to be more independently. Place the checklist in a location the child/teenager will see it either in the bedroom or the bathroom or both locations. We have a created a FREE CHECKLIST for you to use for your morning routine that you can try to customize to fit your lifestyle and routine. Download your FREE Morning Checklist below by providing your name and email!

Our last tip is to find an alarm sound that can wake you up so you don’t sleep through the alarm. You may need to change the alarm sound up every so often so that your body doesn’t get used to the same sound over and over every morning.

Our family really dislikes mornings, but we hope with the help of these strategies together we can start to like mornings a little bit more 🙂 We hope you can find these tips helpful for your morning routine as a family and specifically to help give more responsibility to your teenager or child with Autism. Try out the checklist and we left some space for you to add in your own that are specific to your routine. We would love to hear if you have any additional suggestions or strategies that have helped make your morning routine easier.

Is your family looking for additional autism support? Check out our FREE Autism Resources guide with over 180+ Resources to help you and your family!! Download the Resources below!!

This post was part of a monthly series by other Special Needs Bloggers where we all shared tips on Time Management! Check out their amazing resources below for further ways to help make life a little easier!

How to Win at Time Management When You’re a Busy Special Needs Parent | My Home Truths

The Busy Mom’s Guide to Juggling Multiple Appointments | The Chaos and The Clutter

How Visual Schedules Can Assist with Time Management Skills | Kori at Home

Tips on How Having a Sibling with Autism has Changed my Life for the Better

Tips on How Having a Sibling with Autism has Changed my Life for the Better

Tips on How Having a Sibling with Autism has Changed my Life for the Better

*This post may contain affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure policy.

How having a sibling with autism has changed my life for the better

We all go through events in our lives that lead us to make decisions and take us down different paths that affect our life. Well, today I want to share how growing up with my brother has changed my life for the better and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Autism can be scary…but it doesn’t have to be

I think many people hear the word Autism and they think socially awkward, aggressive, weird, etc…We don’t have to think that way if we get to know the person for who they are and not what society tells us to believe.

My Story

My brother was born when I was 13 years old and I loved growing up with a baby brother. It was so much fun to see him grow up and have opportunities to play with him. I remember going out into public places with him and getting weird looks from strangers like he was my child, but that didn’t stop me from going places with him. He was my little brother and I loved him so much.

I remember going off to college and that was the year when he was starting kindergarten and the year he was diagnosed with Autism. My mom would tell me how hard that first year of school was for the both of them with her being the special education teacher not being able to help her own son and how much anxiety he was having at school. After that year was when my mom decided she needed to do what she felt was best and homeschool my brother.

Growing up along side my brother has taught me many valuable life lessons and has lead me down different paths in my life that I probably wouldn’t be down today if not for him. He was my inspiration for choosing my career path of occupational therapy and for starting this blog! He has taught me more about compassion and nurture along with my mom more than anyone else ever has. He helps me be a better person by helping me think outside of the box to learn to help other individuals as well. He has helped teach me so many life lessons along the way and I want to share them all with you!

My Number One Tip: Love your Brother or Sister for Who They Are

I feel like society tells us so many times that if we aren’t “normal” we don’t fit it and we need to “change”. I am telling you that is wrong to believe and that we need to learn to love and accept our loved ones for who they are as individuals and not what society tells us to believe. Think about people that have stood out in our society…were they people that fit in? Or were they people that stood out and had unique and amazing talents? The people that stand out to me are the ones who go against the crowd to stand out and be different. Don’t let the world tell you how you or your sibling needs to be, make the world a better place and help them learn to make the world work for them.

Learn to embrace their differences and their strengths. Help them identify their strengths in their lives and see themselves through a positive lens. I feel like so many times Autism is seen as bad…and this can have a huge impact on someone’s self esteem. Make sure you are always talking about Autism in a positive light and talking positive with your sibling and family as well. This can have a HUGE impact.

Don’t Try to Change Them

This statement goes along with the one above, but I wanted to make sure I hit this hard…Every person is unique and has strengths and weaknesses. We all have skills that we are good at and others that we could use more practice with. Your Sibling is going to be the same way, if they have something that is more difficult for them help them with that skill, but don’t change who they are because they can’t do something as well. For example, if going out to public places is hard for your brother or sister, find a way to make that easier for your sibling by going somewhere that you know they really enjoy. My brother does not like going out to eat at restaurants, but he was super motivated to go to Dave and Buster’s. We were able to go to that restaurant because it was something he wanted to do and was motivated to do it.

A strength of my brother is that he is very smart with science and technology. He is very good with computers and that is why I have been learning the blogging world for him to be able to teach this skill to him when he gets older as a way for him to make an income. As his sister I feel that I need to use my strengths of (patience and learning) to help my brother out when he transitions into adulthood to help make life a little easier for him.

Treat them as an Equal

This may seem like common sense to some, but always make sure you treat your sibling like you treat your other siblings as well. It is okay to joke around with them, play with them, or even get upset with them. These are normal emotions to have with all family members.

Involve Them in Activities with You

Don’t leave someone out just because you think they won’t like the activity or it might be too hard for them. Always ask them if they would like to join you in something, you never know what they may say.

I also want to say too, don’t force your brother or sister to do something with you if they really don’t like it or don’t want to do it. Growing up, I knew my brother really did not like movie theaters or going to restaurants. I always asked him if he wanted to go with me, but I would never force him to do something if it upset him.

Teach them Skills

Being the older sister, I kind of also took on that motherly role as well with me brother. I wanted to protect him from harm. If we went to the playground when he was little and had a hard time playing with the other kids I would look out for him. I would be the one playing on the jungle gym with him and going down the slides. I wouldn’t let the other kids bother him or bother me either.

Growing up with my brother when I was younger I loved being able to teach him new play skills or go swimming with him and try to help him learn how to swim. Now that we are both older my mom and I are both trying to learn to teach him life skills to help him be more independent as he transitions into adulthood. I know I look to my brother for teaching me new skills on the computer and through different video games he is playing and he looks up to me to help teach him different skills as well. Be there for each other and be a positive role model for each other. Take the time to help one another and teach them something you are learning.

Most of All Be a Big or Little Sibling to Them

Love each of your family members for the unique person that they are. Learn to love their quirks and be there for them. Protect and guide them in this journey through life. If they ask for your help, be there for them. You don’t have to make the big gestures, just do the little day by day things together that make such a big difference. If you are an older sibling like me, take time to call or visit your younger brother or sister because seeing you can bring your little sibling so much joy.

Growing up alongside my brother has changed me for the better because it has taught me to be the person I am today. I have learned to love each person for their unique abilities and strengths and to not let the world define who you need to be. My life choices have been chosen because of my brother and mother and I have them to thank for the person I have become. I hope that if you have a sibling with Autism, they can have such a positive experience on you as my brother has had on me in my life.

If you have a sibling with Autism, whether they are younger or older, what are some tips they have taught you in your life? I would love to learn from other siblings as well! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

Are you feeling overwhelmed by information about Autism and don’t know where to turn? Check out our 180+ FREE Autism Resource Guide for information about Autism websites, blogs, Facebook support groups, books, self-care, transition to adulthood information and MORE! Get your FREE resource below by giving us your name and email address!

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Are you looking for other amazing tips and advice from Special Needs Parents? Check out the other posts below for GREAT tips and advice to help you feel less overwhelmed.

The Best Montessori Tips for Families with Special Needs | Every Star is Different

Advice for Monitoring & Managing Anxiety in Autistic Children & Teens | My Home Truths

Advice for Parents of Children with Special Needs | The Chaos and The Clutter

What Autistics Wish You Knew About Your Child | This Outnumbered Mama

Ways to Help a Special Needs Child Learn | Life Over C’s

The One Thing I Wish Someone Had Told Me After My Daughter’s Diagnosis | Kori at Home

2 Things Every Hyperlexia Parent Should Know | And Next Comes L

The Best Self Care for Single Moms of Special Needs Children| Finding the Golden Gleam

 

How to Teach Teenagers with Autism How to Shower and Bathe

How to Teach Teenagers with Autism How to Shower and Bathe

*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure statement for further details.

How to teach teenagers with autism how to shower and bathe

Not only do we need to understand the steps of taking a shower or taking a bath, but we also need to figure out how we can teach those specific steps to our children. Our family has been working hard to help my teenage brother with autism how to take a shower independently. We wanted to share with you tips and tricks that we have used to help my brother learn to be more independent with this skill!

Tips on How to Regulate the Water Temperature Before Getting into the Shower or Bathtub

This could be a dangerous skill, make sure a parent is always around when you are working on regulating the temperature of the water.  Make sure you are modeling the skill for your child and showing them exactly how to turn on the facet. If you find a consistent temperature that your child likes the water at take a permanent marker or something to mark where to turn the facet to so they have a visual of where to stop.

If your facet doesn’t have labels or color coding to understand which way to turn on the facet, you can try to add these. You could try adding blue and red stickers to the faucet to visually show hot and cold.

Try using hand over hand physical cues to help them understand how to turn on the faucet in your shower or bathtub. Practice this skill over and over with an adult present to make sure they do not burn themselves and keep repeating until they understand what temperature to place the faucet at.

Tips on How to Wash the Body while in the Shower or Bathtub

If you feel comfortable doing this you could model how to take a shower for your child with you in your swimming suit for modesty. If not, be there in the bathroom with your child and show them the steps you want them to take with how to get their bodies wet with water, how much soap to use, and then how to rinse off their bodies in the water. Show them exactly how to turn their bodies in the water so they can rinse off their front side, back side, private areas, under their arms, and their head. You can also use a handheld shower head if that makes it easier for your child to reach the areas of their body to fully rinse off and get wet.

Always make sure they are safe in the shower, especially if their balance is a little shaky. Try adding grab bars to the shower. We recommend getting ones where you can drill them into a stud to make sure they are strong and stable (you may want to hire a contractor for this), but if you need there are suction cup grab bars that you will need to check every time you shower to make sure they are stable and locked. You can also add a non slip mat at the base of the tube to help with traction.

You can try using a wash cloth or loofah while in the shower or bathtub to have put the soap on that to wash off their body if they want something to hold onto while washing their bodies. A bar of soap may be too slippery and just placing body wash in their hand may be difficult for them to lather and be able to spread on their entire body. You can also try a long handled sponge to reach some of those hard areas like our backs or lower legs as well.

When rinsing off their bodies show them how to look around to see if they see soap bubbles on their bodies anywhere and that means that there is still soap on their bodies and we want to wash all of that off before getting out of the shower.

When washing hair, show them which container is shampoo and which one is conditioner. You can write the numbers 1 or 2 on top to tell them which ones to do first or you could add a rubber band around one of the containers for texture if they have some visual difficulties to let them feel which one is the shampoo and which one is the conditioner. If this is difficult for your child you could always purchase 2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner to take away one of the steps. Show them how much to put i their hands and giving them a reference like saying it shouldn’t be larger than a size of a quarter. If this is something they need to practice, purchase some cheap shampoo or conditioner to help them work on the amount of force they need to use to get out the appropriate amount of soap.

Also show and tell them how wet their hair and body needs to be before putting soap in their hair or body. Have them practice and tell them when that is enough. Also show them exactly how much to rub onto their bodies or in their hair by doing it for them, and then having them do it with you and slowly you can stop doing it and have them do it more independently.

When they are done washing and rinsing off their bodies, show them exactly how to turn off the water so they can visually see how to do it and then do it hand over hand so they can physically feel how to turn it off. You can again use either a permanent marker or a sticker to show where to stop to turn off the faucet.

Are you looking for a FREE printable that you can laminate and place in the bathroom with the steps needed for your teenager to follow for completing either the bathing or showering routine? Look no further! Check out our FREEBIE below to download your own step by step list to help your teenager with autism learn the steps needed to be independent with personal hygiene skills.

Steps for Bathing and Showering Preview Image Freebie

Tips for Drying the Body Off

Lastly, working on drying off the body thoroughly can be difficult sometimes. Again, we physically show  my brother how to use the towel to dry off and then we either have him start to dry off by himself or we finish for him because we want to make sure he really gets dried off.  We keep practicing this skill and showing him how to reach all areas of his body. We show him in standing and in sitting to make things a little easier. We do less and less for him each time until he can dry off his body completely. Make sure you are using a towel with a texture that your child likes so they don’t have tactile difficulties. You could try a super soft towel or a quick drying towel. Another sensory tip, would be if your child likes warm textures, you could use a towel warmer or put the towel in the drier to be warm when they get out of the shower.

During the shower, some children may want access to a dry towel or wash cloth because they may get soap in their eyes and this can help them feel safer during the shower knowing they can quickly dry their eyes off.

Organizing the Bathroom for Success

How can we set up the bathroom to help our child or teenager to be more independent with bathing?

Assign a specific place for your child to store their showering or bathing supplies. If several of the bottles look a like or are the same shape or size you can add visual differences by writing numbers on them or adding a rubber band or hair tie around the container to differentiate the bottles.

Store the bath towels in an easy to reach location and during the shower make sure to keep it in a dry location where it is still within reach to the child or teenager.

If they have vision difficulties make sure to use high contract colors for items, for example, a white bar of soap is very hard to see agains a white tile soap dish. Using high contrast colors will be easier to see.

Create a visual schedule with the steps to complete the task, where you can download our FREEBIE above!

Modesty and Privacy

Teaching your teenager modesty and privacy can be huge in keeping them safe. Talk to them about situations where you use public behaviors and private behaviors. Explain why when taking a bath, undressing, touching private parts, or using the toilet are to be done in private. Tell them exactly what types of behaviors are acceptable to do in front of others. You can use our FREE checklist of what needs to be done to make sure they are using privacy while completing self care skills for bathing/showering, dressing, and toileting at home and in public. Modesty and privacy checklist for self-care skills

Modesty and Privacy Checklist for Self Care SkillsModesty and privacy checklist for self-care skillsModesty and privacy checklist for self-care skillsModesty and privacy checklist for self-care skillsModesty and privacy checklist for self-care skills

 

Modesty and privacy checklist for self-care skills

 

We hope these tips can provide you with ideas to best help you teach your teenager/child with autism how to be more independent with bathing and showering. We know that these skills can take time and patience to learn and a lot of practice and repetition. When practicing these skills be practice safety first and always making sure your child is safe when around hot water. Please consult your doctor for medical advice or an occupational therapist in your local area for further questions or concerns. We are not responsible for injuries while practicing these skills.

Please let us know in the comments below if these tips are helpful and if there are others that have helped your family! We love hearing from you!

7 Tips for Taking a Vacation with a Teenager with Autism

7 Tips for Taking a Vacation with a Teenager with Autism

7 Tips for Taking a Vacation with a Teenager with Autism

*This post contains affiliate links. There is no extra cost to you, but will greatly help our family. Please see our disclosure for further information.

7 tips for taking a vacation with a teenager with autism

This past weekend I was able to go on a little vacation to Kansas City with my brother, mom, and husband. We left Thursday evening and were able to come back Sunday afternoon. This was a nice little get away for our family to spend some quality time together. As a family, we have learned over the years some tips and strategies to help my brother have success and fun while on vacation. As many of you know, a new experience can be difficult for a child or teenager with autism to handle.

Here are some tricks that we have learned over the years to help create a fun and safe experience for my brother while on vacation.

  1. Always learn to be patient. I feel this is key in all areas of our lives, but it still stays true on a vacation. When going on a vacation, we get out of our normal every day routine and there are going to be unexpected events. This can be difficult for my brother to handle when he doesn’t know what could happen next. We always try to be patient in every new situation to give my brother time to process each situation.
  2. Pack food we know he likes. My brother is still a picky eater, but he has gotten so much better at the willingness to try more foods. It is very difficult for us to go to a restaurant together and sit down to have a meal even today. My mom does a wonderful job of packing foods and snacks that she knows he will like so that when we get to the hotel we don’t have to go and find a grocery store or a specific fast food restaurant that he will only eat at.
  3. Do your research before you go and find activities you know your child will enjoy. I know this one may seem a little obvious, but do some research before you go to make sure there is a special activity that your child/teenager will really look forward to when you go.     We want to make sure the trip will be exciting and fun for everyone! For our trip this weekend, my brother was super excited to go to Dave and Buster’s! He had never been to one before and was so excited to go! He was the one that actually did the research beforehand and found out we were staying close by. He did his own research and sought out an activity that he knew he really wanted to do. In fact, we went two days 🙂
  4. Let your teenager have some choices and say in what they want to do. My mom has always been great at this, she does her best to make sure we can all try to do something we want to do on the trip. She gives my brother choices every day of the trip to let my brother do what he wants to do. If we are trying to do something as a family where he doesn’t have a choice, then we just tell him we are going to go do this and it will be so much fun! Let’s go! In some instances, during the day he doesn’t always have a choice, but when he can we make sure to give him a choice so he can choose what he wants to do.
  5. Make sure you have some down time to rest. A vacation is usually fast paced and exciting, but our family always makes sure we make time to rest back at the hotel. My brother loves just having downtime to play on his iPad or to get on his computer. We make sure he has this during his day to help regulate his sensory system. Make sure you don’t forget what types of activities help to regulate your child while on vacation.Make sure you find ways to incorporate that throughout your vacation to allow your child to be their best!
  6. Try to keep to a typical sleeping routine. My mom and brother are night owls, and I am not one any longer 🙁 Now, with my work schedule I usually try to go to bed earlier. I know that my mom does her best to try to keep my brother on his regular sleeping schedule to help him have enough energy to enjoy the next day’s activities.
  7. We always try to pack some extra clothes, activities, and a pillow. Our family is one of those families that always brings too much, but we have learned that sometimes it is better to have too much than not the right stuff for your child. My mom does a great job of packing some extra clothes or outfits for my brother incase something were to happen and he wouldn’t like an outfit one day or it got dirty. She also does a great job of packing activities she know he likes. For example she packed some of his favorite things right now to help with the drive and waiting times in the hotel. She packed his fidget spinner, headphones, iPad, and putty. She also does a great job of bringing an extra pillow so that he will have something we know he likes when he goes to sleep. Not every hotel has great pillows and beds, but at least this way we know he has a pillow he likes.

Do you have any tips and strategies that have worked well for your family when you go on a vacation with your child or teenager? We would love to hear your tips in the comments below! We can always learn more to best be able to help my brother!

Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop

Welcome to Voices of Special Needs Blog Hop — a monthly gathering of posts from special needs bloggers hosted by The Sensory Spectrum and The Jenny Evolution. Click on the links below to read stories from other bloggers about having a special needs kiddo — from Sensory Processing Disorder to ADHD, from Autism to Dyslexia! Want to join in on next month’s Voices of Special Needs Hop? Click here!

 

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