Pick of the Week: EasyDaysies Magnetic Schedule Plus Add-On Kits—Get off on the right start for school!

Help your child structure their daily routines to get off on the right start for school with the EasyDaysies Magnetic Schedule. Teach independence, responsibility, self-discipline, and sight-word recognition with this handy magnetic chart.

And you can save 15%* on your order of the EasyDaysies Magnetic Schedule, along with its three add-on kits: Chores & Special Times, Family & Extracurricular Activities, and Get Dressed & Bathroom Routines, when you enter promo code EASYDAYS at check-out online.

The EasyDaysies Magnetic Schedule comes with 18 magnets covering everyday activities such as “get dressed,” “do homework,” and “bath time.” You can also use the “To Do” and “Done” columns as a reward system.

The add-on kits offer an easy way to schedule daily chores, routines, and events, and helps to keep track of a child’s earned special times.

 

Chores & Special Times Add-On Kit comes with 21 amazing and durable illustrated magnets: Book/Quiet Time, Clean Bathroom, Clean Bedroom, Computer Time, Dishes, Feed Pet, Field Trip, Garbage/Recycling, Help Set Table, Put Clothes Away, Sweep/Vacuum, TV Time, Walk Dog, 2 blank magnets, and 6 blank clock magnets.

 

Family & Extracurricular Activites Add-On Kit comes with 18 durable illustrated magnets: Dance, Dentist, Doctor, Gymnastics, Martial Arts, Movie Night, Music, Party, Play Date, Play Outside, Shopping, Skating/Hockey, Soccer, Sports, Swimming, and 3 blank magnets.

 

 

Get Dressed & Bathroom Routines Add-On Kit comes with 18 helpful, prompting magnetic components, such as: Coat, Comb Hair, Dress/Skirt, Dry Hands, Flush, Lights Off, Pants, Pull Down Pants, Pull Up Pants, Sit on Toilet, Shirt, Shoes, Sock/Stockings, Underwear, Wash Hands, Wipe, and 2 blank magnets.

 

Don’t forget to redeem your savings this week on the EasyDaysies Magnetic Schedule and the supplemental packs for chores, family and extracurricular activities, and getting dressed and bathroom routines by entering our promo code EASYDAYS at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EDT on September 2nd, 2014. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at check out!

Tip of the Week: 6 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Home ABA Program

CHILD IN SPEECH THERAPYWhile an ABA professional should be coming in to organize and run your ABA program, as a parent or guardian, there are some simple things you can do to make the time your child spends in a home session more effective. Several tips are here, but it may be unrealistic for you to follow ALL of these tips. Consider your home environment and family’s needs, then implement the tips that are the most feasible for your situation.

Following even one of these tips can make a big difference in your child’s sessions!

1)    Make sure all ABA materials are accessible. It’s important to have a system for storing the materials and the binder the ABA providers use. Some families I work with put everything into a box, a dresser drawer, or on a shelf the child cannot reach which is great. If the child utilizes an iPad for communication or reinforcement, be sure it’s available and charged. If any other items are necessary, such as edibles for reinforcement, make sure those are available at the beginning of the session. One parent I worked with used a craft organizer container with a clear plastic lid to store edibles, so when sessions began she’d set it on the table. All the different snacks were already broken into small pieces and organized in the box, freeing up more time for teaching during the session.

2)    Keep the area for ABA therapy free from distraction. Remove any items that are highly distracting for your student. Shut windows if you live on a noisy street. Make sure your cell phone is with you. This tip is especially challenging for families that live in studio apartments or have loud neighbors.

3)    Limit the number of disruptions from siblings or other family members. As an ABA therapist who is focused on increasing my students’ opportunities for social interaction, I don’t want to discourage the siblings and other family members from coming in. Interruptions should happen from time to time, and it’s important that my students learn to refocus after an interruption. But sometimes it becomes an obstacle to learning when there are consistent interruptions, or if I have to continue to redirect a sibling to other activities.  Instead, it’s better to structure activities with siblings and other family members, perhaps by teaching the learner with autism to request the sibling come play or adding it to the student’s activity schedule.

4)    When possible, reserve one or more highly motivating activities for ABA sessions. If a child has free access to all his/her motivating activities, then those activities are not as valuable when used in a session, and therefore less motivating. Sessions are most effective when the learner is working for something that they’re highly motivated by. It’s important to note here that I don’t want the child to only have access to fun things during sessions. I also don’t want the parents miss out on opportunities to enjoy motivating activities with the learner. The idea is to save a small number of motivating activities for sessions so the child maintains motivation and focuses on learning. This tip is especially challenging for families when the learner with autism is motivated by only one or two activities or items.

5)    Don’t allow the child to engage in their highest motivating activities right before an ABA session. I’ve had more than one case in the past in which I would get to the home and find my student watching his favorite TV show or playing his favorite game on the iPad. What would typically happen is that my student would associate my arrival with the end of his favorite activity, which would lead to crying, refusal to work, and/or attempts to escape. I want my students to be able to watch their favorite shows and play with their favorite games, but our sessions are more effective when those activities don’t take place immediately beforehand.

6)    Ask your provider if there are any changes you can make to improve sessions. Every home is different and every child’s needs are different. Your provider may be able to identify small changes for your specific situation that are not mentioned above. Opening that dialogue can be a powerful way to improve your child’s learning outcomes.  

WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals.

Tip of the Week: How to Implement a Successful Behavioral Intervention

Creating a successful behavior intervention is more challenging than it first appears. Below, I’ve listed four essential parts for changing maladaptive behaviors and increasing desired behaviors. Most of the time, when a behavior intervention is not working, one or more of these steps has been neglected.

1.  Find a BCBA or ABA provider who can guide you through the process. Getting help from someone with experience in addressing challenging behaviors is an essential first step. They should be a wealth of information about each of the following steps, provide check-ins and troubleshooting during the intervention process, and maintain data on the behavior to insure the intervention is working.

2.  Identify the function of the behavior. There are four reasons that any of us behave: attention, escape/avoidance, access to a tangible (such as chips or a toy train), and automatic reinforcement (meaning physical sensations that are not related to social interactions, including sound, taste, touch, or a response to movement). A BCBA can be especially useful in helping to identify the function of the behavior. They may utilize an ABC chart to determine the function, which means they observe the behavior and note it’s antecedent, what the behavior looks like, and the immediate consequence. If the ABC chart is not helpful, they may perform a more formal Functional Analysis. Before any intervention is put in place, all parties interacting with the child should understand the function (or reason) for the problematic behavior.

3.  Provide a replacement behavior. As a part of the intervention, a replacement behavior should be provided. A BCBA or ABA provider should be able to help you find appropriate replacement behaviors for the problematic behavior. For example, with one student who was chewing his shirt, we introduced a replacement behavior of chewing gum. With another student who was throwing his iPad, we used tape to put an “X” on his desk and taught him to place it on the “X.” The idea is to provide an appropriate behavior that is incompatible with the problematic behavior. But that’s not always possible. For example, one of my former students was banging her head on the table during instruction. We taught her to request a break by touching a picture of a stop sign. Realistically, she was able to bang her head while simultaneously touching the stop sign, but once she learned that she got to escape the activity by touching the stop sign, she stopped banging her head in order to escape. It’s important to note that using the stop sign wouldn’t work for all head-banging behavior, but we had identified the function of the behavior and were able to introduce a replacement behavior that served the same function while meeting the skill level and needs of that individual student.

4.  Provide reinforcement for appropriate behavior. A specific plan for providing reinforcement for use of a replacement behavior and any other desired behaviors is essential. The reinforcement for the appropriate replacement behavior should serve the same function as the problematic behavior. This can sometimes be difficult to achieve, but without this aspect of intervention, you may see slow success, or no success at all.

Again, creating a multi-pronged intervention can be a challenge. It’s important to seek out help, and to take a look at research related to the problem behavior you are trying to address. It is possible to create a strong intervention that has a huge impact on your learner, but it must include the aspects listed above to have the highest potential for success.

WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, MSED, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals.

Pick of the Week: NEW! Caterpillar Token Board – Reinforce and monitor behavioral success

Reinforce and monitor behavioral success with our brand new Caterpillar Token Board, a versatile chart that’s perfect for focusing on a specific task, behavior, or goal. This week, you can save 15%* on your Caterpillar Token Board by entering or mentioning promo code CATERP1 online or over the phone during check-out.

With a cute, furry friend, kids will be motivated to work and stay on task both at home and in school. Use the Caterpillar Token Board for a short-term goal, such as helping your child sit still at the dinner table, or getting their homework done without complaining, as well as tracking long-term goals. This token board serves as a portable reward system to encourage positive behavior and reduce anxiety. The Caterpillar Token Board comes with 8 reusable reward stars, a magnetic strip on the back for easy display, and a Suggestion Guide. Measures approximately 9 x 5 inches.

Don’t forget to take 15% off* your order of the new Caterpillar Token Board by applying CATERP1 at check-out!

*Offer is valid until 11:59pm EDT on August 19, 2014. Not compatible with any other offers. Be sure there are no spaces or dashes in your code at check out!

Tip of the Week: Minimize Tantrums with High and Low-Quality Attention

Recently I began working with a family who has a six year old boy with autism named Austin (all names and identifying details have been changed to protect confidentiality). His mother was describing Austin’s behaviors when he couldn’t have something he wanted. She told me about him hitting his parents and younger brother, sweeping all materials off tables and shelves, and throwing himself on the floor. She was worried that he might hurt himself or hurt someone else. She told me that when he started this behavior, they would say, “Stop hitting.” They had been doing this for months, but his behavior had not improved.

Later that week, she sent me a video of Austin having one of his “mega-tantrums.” It was exactly as she described, though there was one important detail she had missed. Austin consistently sought out eye contact and physical contact with both of his parents. If they were moving around to pick up an item, he would move his body and face to maintain eye contact. If one of them sat down, he would quickly clamber into their lap while screaming and pounding their arms or the furniture. If one parent walked out of the room, he would immediately run to the other parent. This behavior was clearly maintained by attention. In order to decrease the behavior, his parents had the very difficult task of ignoring it ahead of them.

The next week I went out to their house to help them practice ignoring the behavior. We put in place a three-pronged plan:

  • When Austin wanted something he was not allowed to have, he would be given a choice of options. The options should be for preferred activities. For example, if he wants to watch TV but isn’t allowed to right now, the parent can say, “Austin, you can play with trains or you can do a puzzle.”
  • Once Austin starts hitting or screaming, he does not receive any attention. This includes eye contact, physical contact, and verbal prompts/reminders from his parents.
  • The parents can start one of the motivating activities in another location. For this family, the parents sat with the younger brother at the dining room table and the mother read a book out loud.

As I had forewarned the parents, Austin’s behavior initially intensified as he realized he was getting zero attention. He took a box of toys, turned it upside down, and dumped it all over the floor. His mother kept reading to his brother. He ran over to his father and hit his legs while screaming, the father got up and walked away. Then, Austin did something he had never done before. He climbed up onto the table and started walking around on the edge of it.

His mother looked at me and said, “How do I avoid giving him attention for that?” This is when it’s important to consider high-quality attention and low-quality attention. In order to keep him safe, his mother needed to be more proximal. She walked near where he was on the table, but did not pick him up, did not make eye contact, and did not speak to him. (I let her know that if she felt he was very unsafe, she could pick him up and remove him from the table but quickly letting him go, and withholding eye contact and verbal interaction.) She stayed nearby to catch him if he fell, but she did not provide attention for this dangerous behavior. Her proximity (or if she had chosen to pick him up off the table without eye contact or verbal interaction) constitutes low-quality attention. High-quality attention is only saved for appropriate behavior.

Think about what high-quality attention means for a young child: big facial expressions, expressive tones of voice, big movements, and physical contact. Prior to our intervention, Austin was getting all of those types of high-quality attention for inappropriate behaviors. But now he wasn’t getting any of that type of attention.

However, Austin had been engaging in inappropriate behaviors for attention for 2-3 years now, so changing this behavior takes a little time. For our first day of the intervention, Austin continued to yell and throw items for 40 minutes before he finally went over to where his mom was sitting and reading aloud the story (actually, the third story in a row). When he was near and quiet, his mom started reading in a wonderfully expressive tone, adding voices to the characters. Austin came closer. When a funny part of the story happened, Austin laughed. And then Austin’s mother encouraged him and his brother to imitate the characters in another part of the story. After he imitated the characters, he sat next to his mom and she put her arm around him. All of these high-quality forms of attention were now being given for appropriate interaction.

Sometimes you have to provide some attention in order to keep a child safe, but think to yourself what is high-quality attention for your learner: it may be tickles, silly faces, expressive speaking, or physical contact. Reserve those things for appropriate behaviors.

A few final notes about this intervention: (1) Austin’s inappropriate behaviors will probably still continue for a little bit longer. I’m certain that he will test it out a few more times, and his parents will have to stick to the intervention in order to completely get rid of what they had deemed as “mega-tantrums”; (2) This intervention only works for behaviors maintained by attention. If you’re uncertain about the function of a behavior, confer with a BCBA or an ABA provider for help; and (3) If you’re not certain you can follow through if the behavior persists for a long time (such as 40 minutes in Austin’s case) then give in the first time the learner asks. For more information on this, look back at my tip on Choosing When to Battle.

Simplifying the Science: Are You Giving Your Student Enough Freedom?

One of my favorite research papers was published in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis in 1990 by Diane J. Bannerman, Jan B. Sheldon, James A. Sherman, and Alan E. Harchik. The title is Balancing the Right to Habilitation with the Right to Personal Liberties: The Rights of People with Developmental Disabilities to Eat Too Many Doughnuts and Take a Nap. It’s an in-depth look at the level of control practitioners can exert over the individuals they serve, and the implications of that control.

It’s important to consider the ethical implications of requiring the individuals we work with to complete specified exercises at scheduled times, eat a healthy diet for all meals, and limit TV. I have seen situations in which the practitioner is holding the individual with developmental disabilities to a higher standard than they hold themselves! Most of you reading this can probably quickly rattle off the name of the last TV show you “binge-watched” or the delicious ice cream you enjoyed too much of.

So how do we teach making appropriate choices to individuals with developmental disabilities without denying the personal freedoms we all value?

One quote from the paper states, “Not only do people strive for freedom in a broad sense they also enjoy making simple choices, such as whether to engage in unproductive, though harmless, activities, like watching sitcoms on television, eating too many doughnuts, taking time off from work, or taking a nap before dinner.” In an effort to teach our learners independent skills, we often neglect to teach meaningful decision-making that reflects the types of decisions neurotypical adults make every day. Since the paper was originally published, there has been more work done on promoting decision-making skills for learners with developmental disabilities, but the issues described in the paper are still relevant today.

Here are a few key considerations described:

  • We need to consider client preference when creating daily schedules, goals, and access to preferred activities.
  • A client’s refusal to participate in an activity may not be a failure to teach appropriately but an expression of preference.
  • It is important for practitioners to teach choice-making. The paper states, “Many people require teaching to help them discover their own preferences and learn to make responsible choices.” We should consider this as an essential step towards promoting independence in our clients.
  • Inflexible schedules for clients can sometimes be obstacles to opportunities for choice-making.

The paper goes on to cite multiple research articles and laws for both sides of the argument about the right to choice for those with developmental disabilities. You can read the full text here.  Overall, I consider this article to be essential reading for anyone working with clients with disabilities. It provides a lot of information to support its final conclusion that “all people have the right to eat too many doughnuts and take a nap” and we have the responsibility to teach clients how to exercise such freedoms.

WRITTEN BY SAM BLANCO, msed, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals.

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy 4th of July!

The Fourth of July is a time of celebration for families and friends to enjoy the summer with barbecues, fireworks, and patriotic music. We hope that you will be enjoying the long weekend this year with your loved ones, whether you will be staying at home or going away.

The displays of fireworks are beautiful and inspiring. But we know that these displays do not always bring smiles and wonder to children with autism. Here are a few helpful tips we found by ABPathfinder on making your Fourth of July evening more enjoyable for you and your children:

Prepare your child. If they’re old enough to understand, tell them about the fireworks. Let them understand what will happen and emphasize that it is a safe, fun way to see some beautiful displays.

Let them in on the planning. Let the child take part in the planning. Have a picnic, determine what you’ll bring, where you’ll go. Try to provide a set time for each activity, including bringing a timer. If the child is enjoying the display, you can always turn the timer off. If the child is not enjoying the display, you can help them refocus by telling them “Look. Just 3 more minutes on the timer!”

Show them videos of displays. Help the child prepare for what they’ll see by watching videos of past firework celebrations. There are some great sources on YouTube, and it will allow the child to see the beauty of the fireworks while still in their controlled setting.

Fingerpaint some fireworks. Let the child explore the beauty of the fireworks by helping them fingerpaint their own display. Use black construction paper for the night sky and colorful paint for the exploding colors!

Provide ear plugs. Obviously, if your child has auditory sensitivity, you’ve already got this covered. But the report from some of today’s fireworks can be overwhelming. Be prepared up front for it.

View displays from a distance. There’s no reason you have to be right under the displays. Most fireworks displays are better viewed from a distance. Find out what displays are occurring in your town, then scope out some parks or parking lots where you can get a good view of the event.

Provide comfort items. Taking along a favorite blanket or teddy bear can be just the thing the child needs to keep calm. Simply holding it can provide the child with comfort and control over their environment.

Let them explore child-safe fireworks. There are a number of child-safe fireworks available that can give your child an opportunity to participate in the fun. Champagne poppers and snaps are a good way for your child to join in. Be careful with sparklers and smoke bombs, in case your child has an urge to grab the flames.

Join another special needs peer. Joining with another special needs family can also be helpful. Not only does it give your child someone to play with, but it also provides your child with a peer that can model appropriate behavior for the celebration.

Have fun. Last but not least, be sure to have fun. Showing you child that you’re not worried can be the first indicator on how they should react. Hopefully, they’ll join you in the fun!

The Fourth of July can be one of the most challenging holidays for families with Autism, but we hope that these tips can make it a fun, safe event for the whole family.

Simplifying the Science: Using Evidenced-Based Practices to Increase Food Variety for Children with Autism

An essential part of ABA is providing evidence-based treatment. Research is consistently being done all around the world to determine best practices for working with learners with autism, as well as addressing many issues outside of the realm of special education. This week, we’re pleased to introduce the first in a new month series: Simplifying the Science. In this feature, BCBA Sam Blanco will highlight one paper from the world of research to help provide you with a deeper resource base. She’ll delve into the study and offer some strategies on how the findings apply to your programming needs. Our hope is that these monthly tips will shed a different light for you on the importance of looking to research for guidance.

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When faced with feeding issues, many parents or caregivers may not consider seeking out help from a BCBA or behavior analyst. There is a tendency to associate ABA with sitting at a table and completing discrete trials, but this is only one tool in a behavior analyst’s extensive toolkit. Whether you are providing intervention for feeding issues or seeking more information, it is essential to look to scientific research for help.

There are several studies available about feeding issues, and many of these studies are specific to feeding issues in individuals with autism. One such study was published in 2010 in the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA) by Hildur Valdimarsdóttir, Lilja Ýr Halldórsdóttir, and Zuilma Gabriela SigurÐardóttir. “Increasing the Variety of Foods Consumed by a Picky Eater: Generalization of Effects Across Caregivers and Settings” provides one detailed case in which a five-year-old boy with autism refused to eat anything beyond meatballs, fishballs, fruits, and cereal. While his school had had some success with getting him to eat a few new items, the boy’s parents were unable to reproduce the same results at home.

The intervention the researchers used involved multiple steps that would require the assistance of a BCBA or skilled behavior analyst if you wanted to replicate it at home. In order to increase the number of foods this boy ate, the intervention included several behavioral techniques such as escape extinction (not allowing the child to escape mealtime upon refusing to eat or engaging in inappropriate behavior), stimulus fading (setting goals of increasing difficulty), and a schedule of reinforcement (frequency of reinforcement for appropriate behavior) that was systematically thinned as the child experienced success. By the end of the intervention, the boy was consuming 39 new, “non-preferred” foods, including 14 vegetables.

You can read the research study here, which I recommend you share with your child’s ABA provider. I also suggest taking a peek at the references listed at the end for insight into other resources. This particular study is of a five-year-old boy with autism, but you may find studies that are more relevant for your particular child.

In the end, when you’re feeling at a loss for strategies on improving your child’s eating, there is a lot of research out there. It takes time to go through it and set up a similar system for your own child, but the end result can have a huge impact on your child’s health as well as the stress-level in your home during mealtimes. It is definitely worth the effort to attain more information.

Written by Sam Blanco, BCBA

Sam is an ABA provider for students ages 3-12 in NYC. Working in education for ten years with students with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other developmental delays, Sam has developed strategies for achieving a multitude of academic, behavior, and social goals.

Tip of the Week: 5 Ways to Structure the Summer for Children with Autism

As the school year comes to a close, it can be quite challenging to figure out how to fill all those summer hours for any child. But if your child has autism, the challenge to provide structure can prove especially difficult. Below are a few tips to assist you in that endeavor.

Create and communicate a new routine. Introducing a new routine can be valuable in easing the transition from full days at school to full days at home. You can set the new routine to be as flexible as necessary to meet the needs of the entire family. It may start very similarly to the school day routine: getting up, eating breakfast, brushing teeth, etc. You may then include specific times of the day for outdoor play, eating lunch, going with a babysitter, or playing on the computer. Think about the activities and toys that your learner enjoys the most and provide access to them as part of the routine. Providing visual cues such as activity schedules or to-do lists can also be beneficial.

Provide social opportunities whenever possible.  In the summer months, it’s quite possible that your learner will have much less interaction with peers. You can ask the school if there are any students who might be a good play date match for your learner. You can also look into day camps, summer sports activities, or board game nights. Think about what is highly motivating for your learner and consider possibilities for related activities that could involve peer interaction.

Look at potential camps.  There are many camps available for learners with special needs. If you’re unsure about camps in your area, ask the professionals who work with your child if they are aware of camps. You can also click here to see camps for children with autism.

Provide a summer calendar.  This calendar can be created based on your learner’s current skill level. For example, with some learners, you may just have pictures showing different activities (such as a picture of a nearby water park you’re visiting in July or a picture of your learner’s grandparents if they’re visiting one weekend). With other learners, you can have a written calendar, or even have them help create the summer calendar. Each day, the learner can refer to it and anticipate what activities and events are coming up.

Set one or two goals.  Summer may prove to be the perfect time to set goals around daily living skills that can be practiced without the rush of trying to meet the school bus. Chores such as making the bed or packing a school lunch can be taught with the goal of promoting independence and continuing those skills once the new school year begins.

Remember to consider what works best for your entire family as you plan for the summer. The goal is to create opportunities for a more relaxing home environment for everybody.

Tips for Traveling with Kids with Autism

Taking any long trip when you have a child with autism can be daunting, especially when it involves long periods of time in the car or on an airplane. Below are a few tips for reducing stress during travel time.

  • Create a visual or textual schedule for your child.  Because trips don’t always go as planned (e.g. planes are delayed, you get caught in traffic), it’s probably not a good idea to list specific times that activities will be occurring. But it is helpful to show the order in which they will be happening.
  • Prepare your child for potential problems.  If possible, talk about coping methods ahead of time and practice them if possible. What can you do if you’re stuck in traffic that isn’t moving? What are your choices if we experience turbulence on the plane?
  • Provide information for your child.  Show photos, books, maps, etc. of the locations you’ll be traveling to. You can also read books or show photos of activities you’ll be participating in, such as swimming or skiing.
  • If possible, pack more than one activity bag.  Bags filled with a few favorite activites or small toys can be useful for keeping kids entertained on trips. For long trips, your child may get bored with items in an activity bag. It’s useful to keep a second one stashed in a suitcase or other bag if you’ll be on a very long flight or car ride. It can also be useful to have a separate activity bag for the return trip if you know your child may lose interest in the first one.
  • Provide options when possible.  Access to choices can go a long way in keeping kids calm. Choices can include what videos to watch, snacks to eat, etc.
  • Check in advance with guest services at hotels, resorts, or theme parks.  Ask what modifications and accessibility options they may offer. Many places offer special accommodations and are open to any unique requests you may have.
  • Prepare in advance for any sensory concerns.  Bring noise-cancelling headphones, ear plugs, fidgets, etc. to have available, as needed.

Remember that long trips are difficult for all children, and many of the tips listed above are beneficial for siblings who do not have special needs.