Road Travel Tips for People with Autism

People with autism can highly be affected by the variability of settings and skilled behaviors when traveling. Their learned skills have an “on again and off again” nature including the ones that seem established properly. When traveling with a person with autism, always remember that knowing and doing are different for them.  

Here are useful road travel tips for people with autism that will make your trip easier:

Practice Using Public Restrooms

Toileting as a skill is prone to becoming a stimulus bound. This means its success can increase in familiar circumstances and settings. Coaches call this the “home-field advantage”. To expand the home-field advantage of the patient, the skill should be practiced in different settings. Do this when preparing for a trip to make the experience easier and better.

Avail Positive Reinforcement

Give the autism sufferer positive reinforcement after doing something positive. Praise them and provide their favorite activity or treat. This is a great way to teach new behaviors. Rewards can be decreased as the person learns to do something like toileting.

Use Visual Supports

When going on a trip, consider using visual support like a schedule board featuring bathroom breaks. Other useful visual supports may include icons that compel the autism sufferer to think about having a bathroom break or photographs.

Use Prompts

Have a routine that prompts the sufferer to consider going to a bathroom. You can point on a symbol or use a specific gesture.

Have a Schedule

Have a schedule that you can stick to when traveling. For instance, have a schedule that includes bathroom breaks at certain times. This can be before fun activities or after meals.

It’s also important to avoid what many people do. That’s dwelling on negatives or nagging the autism sufferer. Instead, give the sufferer direct, brief prompts using few words.

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