Days out with your children don’t have to be stressful and a safe day out for a child with Asperger’s doesn’t have to be stressful either.
A close relative of mine has four children. He has two girls and two boys. All of the kids are happy, loving and lots of fun. Both girls go to mainstream schools. They have no difficulties whatsoever, but they certainly understand that everybody is different and that we all have our own challenges in life. One of his sons is autistic and the other has Asperger’s syndrome. Tom who is autistic needs to be monitored pretty much most of the time and to look at him you know that he is autistic and the majority of people do make allowances for that. Steve on the other hand, is the older of the brothers, he has Asperser’s syndrome. To look at him you would not know he has it.
When the family go out for the day, all of them take turns to mind Tom as he does wonder off and no matter how many times that they tell him he still does it. Steve does not normally wonder off but becomes extremely engrossed in something and does not realise that everyone else has moved on. There have been numerous occasions that my cousin or his wife and even I have gone racing back to the last place we were only to see Steve looking very bewildered. Because of his condition he will not ask anyone for help as he finds interaction difficult. So he is for want of a better phrase ‘left stranded’.
To overcome this and to be able to have a safe day out for a child with Asperger’s my cousin now uses a child locator with Steve. The child locator is made up of two pieces. One for Steve and one for my cousin or his wife, if they move off without Steve there is a chirping sound and they realise that Steve is not moving on with them. All of the children carry a personal alarm for kids anyway so the child locator was not something that was a big deal for Steve.
One of the other things that can sometimes a bit of a challenge for my cousins’ family when they have a day out is that both boys tire quicker than the girls and they tire at different rates themselves. To minimise the impact this can have on the day out my cousin plans the day ahead of time. He schedules meal and break times. This gives the boys some R and R time and means the boys have enough energy to keep up with the girls.
A safe day out for a child with Asperger’s is as simple as a day out with any other child.
Post written by Andrea mother and owner of Safe girl http://www.safe-girl.co.uk
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