When a Parent is Traveling
Many parents today must travel as a part of their job. For children on the Autism spectrum, or for those with sensory processing difficulties this change in routine can be hard. Here are some tips to help the next time a parent is away.
- Think about the everyday routines that this parent participates in with your child. Before the trip, be mindful of what roles that parent fills during the morning routine, after-school activities, dinner and bedtime routines.
- Use a calendar to clearly mark the day the parent is leaving, the days they will be away and the day they will return. Or, use a “count down” activity (search online for Christmas or other holiday countdown crafts), such as moving marbles from one jar to another.
- Hang up a map of the place(s) the parent is traveling to.
- Use technology to your benefit. If possible, use Skype, an email or a phone call. Have the traveling parent take a picture of themselves each day on their phone and send it.
- Prepare your child for potential travel delays. Talk about the return time (or even day) as a flexible target.
- Help your child write down funny things that happened, or save school work they are proud of to show the parent when they get back.
- Let your child sleep with a shirt or pillow that belongs to the parent. Familiar objects can be comforting.