Hello Mamma Bears,
It is that time of year- Summer break! For many families Summer break is the perfect time to vacation as a family. For my special needs mamas traveling causes a whole other type of anxiety that extends making sure you pack snacks and activities. You might be worrying about how they will react to the whole experience- from packing up, to going through security checkpoints, boarding a plane, flying, landing, etc. I’ve put together 5 tips to help you prepare and make the most of your trip with your kids.
#1 Figure out your child’s tolerance level
Think back to how they have reacted in similar situations such as stressful situations or being in unfamiliar environments. This can help you decide on a destination that might be a better match for your kiddos.
#2 Find what your child enjoys
This goes from finding activities for them on a plane or the road or finding locations to travel as well. Chances are if they are enjoying themselves the trip itself can go a lot more smoothly.
#3 Practice, practice, practice
Whether you are flying or taking a road trip try to practice with your child. Sure there are unexpected things that happen an incontrollable factors, but all we can do is prepare ourselves as best as we can. If you are planning a trip with new activities for your child it could be beneficial to try similar activities at home to front load your child with information. In essence this could help prevent them and you from feeling overwhelmed. Check and see if your airport offers any programs to help prepare special needs children for the chaos of an airport. This could prevent your child from being overwhelmed on your trip.
#4 Stay calm
This might be easier said than done, but just try and remain calm. Arrive with enough time to get everything taken care of smoothly, make sure to take advantage of security lines for families and anything else you can find to help.
#5 Have activities on hand
Prepare activities for your kids to be entertained until you arrive at your destination. Remember, positive reinforcement works wonders for compliant behaviors. Looking forward to a reward helps a child to have something to work towards.