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Travelling With Autism: A Psychiatrists' Tips

Picture this: You’re embarking on a family journey, the road stretching endlessly before you, treats within arm’s reach, and your beloved melodies filling the car. Suddenly, the peaceful ambiance is disrupted by a commotion from the backseat. Your child, who is on the autism spectrum, is grappling with the sensory bombardment of the journey. Amid the turmoil, you find yourself laughing at the paradox of your carefully orchestrated “calm” vacation morphing into a scene straight out of a farcical comedy.


Preparation is paramount. As the saying goes, fortune favors the prepared. Yet, no amount of preparation can completely eliminate discomfort. Nevertheless, you are capable, and you can create beautiful, meaningful memories with your children in the great outdoors.


Addressing sensory challenges during travel is crucial, as sensory overload is a common obstacle for children with autism.


There are several books available on Amazon that could be beneficial in mitigating sensory overload in children with autism. These books provide excellent strategies that are far superior to any advice I could give:


 Liam’s Life with Autism Sensory Overload by Freddy Ocasio. This book provides insights into how sensory processing disorder (SPD) can affect an autistic child’s daily life and offers strategies to help manage hypersensitivity.


Unpredictable situations are inherent to any travel experience, and you'll be able to confront this fact directly. Along with these precious stories, the lessons are pragmatic and simple to apply, making them priceless for parents on the move.


Beyond these resources, here are some extra tips that you might find beneficial:

  • Trial Runs: Prior to setting off on an extended journey, think about taking brief trips to acquaint your child with the process of travel. This can help alleviate anxiety and make the actual trip more relaxed.

  • Sensory Equipment: Objects like noise-damping headphones or fidget toys can be extremely useful in controlling sensory overload during travel. Some of the highest and most popular sensory headphones for autistic kids include the Silensys E7, and Bose Quiet Comfort Ultra. You can find these and other sensory equipment here.


The Silenys - pretty funky



The Bose - pricey but i've had a few patients say they never leave home without them. 


  • You must Anticipate Alterations: Travel plans can shift unexpectedly. Having a contingency plan and preparing your child for potential changes can help make these situations less tense.

  • Open Dialogue: Maintain open communication channels with your child. Inform them about what to anticipate during the journey and reassure them that they can approach you with any worries or discomforts.


Whether you’re embarking on a short trip or a long journey, I hope that these suggestions, coupled with your personal and acquired experiences, will prove beneficial to you and your loved ones.

Enjoy your adventures, my friends, Davin


Turmoil into Tranquility?


Meltdowns overwhelming you?


You’re not alone. Many of us parents grapple with our kids' intense outbursts, feeling a mix of frustration, helplessness, and guilt.

There is hope.


You can learn to guide your child through their storms with greater ease and assurance, forging a deeper connection in the process.

Let me show you what I mean.


Join me in the complimentary video/lecture ‘Navigating Meltdowns: Aiding Your Child and Yourself Amidst Emotional Highs,’ where you’ll gain insights on:

  • The roots of meltdowns

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  • Supportive responses to help your child during challenging moments

  • Essential recovery and bonding steps post-meltdown


This guidance is drawn from my dual expertise as both a parent and a psychiatrist.

Seize the chance to access a treasure trove of wisdom at no cost.

Simply provide your name and email below, and I’ll promptly share the link for immediate viewing.


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