If you are planning a holiday with a child who has autism, there are a few things you need to get right in order to minimize sensory difficulties. Planning ahead allows you to manage your child’s sensory processing disorder that is often intensified by a change of environment.
Having sensory kits for autism within reach will not only help your child cope with environmental changes, but will also provide them with sensory activities that enhance sensory development.
With proper management, sensory integration issues needn’t be a problem.
What is Autism spectrum?
An Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a condition of the brain that is characterized by limited or repeated patterns of activities that hinder the proper development of your child’s social life.
The symptoms may also include sensory processing disorder, which affects the child’s sensory development. The condition does not have a cure, but can be managed to give the person with ASD a normal and fulfilling life.
Treatment for autism in Little Rock aims to reduce the symptoms through therapy and sensory enhancement using sensory activities for autism. You can also manage the symptoms at home using homemade sensory kits for autism.
Sensory processing disorder, autism
Sensory processing disorder (SPD) is a condition that inhibits the brain and the nervous system’s ability to process and integrate external stimuli.
A child who is living with the condition experiences difficulty in detecting and processing the sensory stimulus. For instance, the child may be disturbed by noise, smell, and other environmental elements that other children find normal or don’t notice at all.
If your child has challenges with sensory processing, you may consider seeking treatment for autism in Little Rock to learn more about how to manage your child’s sensory meltdowns. However, even after making sure the Autism spectrum disorders are well managed at home, traveling, and change of environment seem to trigger sensory overloads, especially in young children.
Having sensory kits for autism handy before traveling or changing the usual environment for your child can help make the transition easier. The good thing is that neurotypical children can also enjoy sensory activities for autism, and your child with autism will not feel isolated.
Sensory kits for autism
Sensory kits are fun play kits with essential items inside that can help calm down a child who frequently experiences sensory challenges. There are various sensory kits for autism. Each kit is meant to assist your kid in managing sensory overloads, depending on the length of the environmental change. Traveling for short distances, such as visiting the local dentist or grocery store, requires simple sensory kits that can be assembled at home.
However, holiday travel may be a bit more challenging, given the length of time that your child will be away from the environment to which they are accustomed. To help your child cope with the sensory overload that comes with holiday travel, you can try the holiday sensory backpack kit.
Holiday Sensory Backpack kit
A holiday sensory backpack kit for your child with autism will help them cope with the changes in the environment and allow them to share the fun with other kids during the vacation. A sensory kit for a vacation does not have to be expensive since you can pack items that your child uses at home to manage their sensory overloads.
Here are simple items that you can include in your holiday sensory backpack kit for your child.
i. Earmuffs or headphones
Earmuffs will help in noise cancellation for little ones who get disturbed by external noises they are not used to hearing on a daily basis. Once you pack a pair of noise-blocking earmuffs in your backpack, you can navigate the noisy streets, train stations, or airports without worrying about noise overload. Your child can also wear the earmuffs during fireworks or when loud music plays during the trip.
ii. Portable music players
While some children on the Autism spectrum are disturbed by noise, others are actually attached to the noise or sounds they are used to hearing every day at home. Packing a portable music player will allow your child to continue listening to their favorite music, making the holiday fun for them as well. Some children need headphones with music playing in order to keep them from experiencing sensory overload due to loud external sounds.
iii. Portable scents and toiletries
For kids who are sensitive to changes in smell, carrying scents, soap, toothpaste, and other toiletries that they are used to at home will help reduce the impact of the environmental change. Also, make sure the bathing towels and handkerchiefs are the same texture as those used at home. Bringing along some laundry detergent from home to wash your towels and laundry in while you are away can also provide a sense of comfort.
iv. Sensory enhancement tools
Sensory disorders may make some children withdraw or engage in repeat activities. Regardless of the nature of your child’s sensory integration issues, sensory activities for autism can stimulate or control the activities your child is involved in during the vacation.
Here are some suggestions on sense enhancers that you can pack before leaving for the vacation.
- Carry a storybook with exciting stories or a book with topics that interest your child.
- Drawing or coloring books and markers- preferably scented with the same scent they are used to- are good for the vacation.
- Noodles and modeling clay can also be fun sensory play items for all kids.
- A textured handball is also a great play item for your child.
- You can also include the simplest play items that your child uses at home.
v. A weighted vest or lap pad
A weighted vest or blanket can be good support material for your child during the vacation but should not be used for children below age 2. It is also a good idea to consult your child’s therapist before packing any weighted material. If you have received treatment for autism in Little Rock, your therapist should have already recommended the right weighted material for your child.
Contact the experts
If your child has autism and you are looking for treatment for autism in Little Rock, Integrity Inc. is here to make every step of the journey easier. Our committed therapists will help your child deal with sensory processing disorder autism through a therapeutic approach that has been tested and proven to help children with autism live a normal life. Book an appointment today or give us a call at (501) 406-0442, and we will be happy to give your child the support they need.