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Touchstone shares valuable tips for preparing Autistic children for parades

Attending parades can be stressful for any family, so it’s crucial to plan ahead. To the best of your ability, have a parking place and area where you’ll be standing figured out ahead of time to avoid last minute chaos. If your child reacts negatively to changes in his/her schedule, give lots of warning of the upcoming parades and put the event on the calendar far in advance.

Read a book that depicts parades, watch parades on TV or make you own story with computer pictures and simple words (social story) to help your child prepare for what to expect. Set expectations by communicating the plan with the entire family ahead of time. Outline the timeline and rules that need to be followed while at the parades. Some children even benefit by writing down the plan as a checklist. Be flexible and park where you can leave early. If you’re unable to leave the parade due to traffic restrictions, look for a quiet place for you to retreat with your child.

If noise is a trigger for your child, bring noise cancelling headphones or ear plugs for when the marching bands play. Pack the necessities. Though there are parades going on, your child might not be interested in them. Pack his/her favorite snacks, toys, puzzles, books and games to provide them with comfort in an unfamiliar setting.

Since children with ASD can impulsively bolt from a safe setting to explore something of interest or remove themselves from a situation they find stressful, be aware of your child’s wandering triggers. Avoid crowded intersections, if possible. Realistically manage your expectations when heading out to the parades. Be ready to leave if you need to and manage your emotional reactions.

 

At Touchstone ABA, our credentialed staff provides research driven behavior analytic services. Our clinical clients include children and adults diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and individuals with learning and language differences and other behavioral challenges.Touchstone ABA provides services in Thibodaux, Houma, New Orleans, Hammond, Baton Rouge and Lafayette. For more information on Touchstone’s services, call (985) 446-6833, email info@tc-aba.com or visit www.touchstoneaba.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Touchstone ABA.


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