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Welcome to Autism Fundraising Guide. I focus on therapies, treatment, advice, trends and personal anecdotes based upon my experience as a parent of a sixteen year old with Autism Spectrum Disorder. I have seen this disorder go from relatively obscure when my child was diagnosed thirteen years ago, to a very maintream epidemic today.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Does Your Autism Spectrum Child Make a Scene?

One of the most difficult parts of parenting children with Autism is how they occasionally make a scene in public. This can lead to a feeling of helplessness on the part of the parents. Also, people in public stare and make the parents feel uncomfortable when this occurs. Here are some strategies I have found useful over the years for taking my Autism Spectrum child in public.

  Go During Off- Hours
    One of my primary strategies for taking my Autism Spectrum son out in public is to go places during what is known as "off- hours." In other words, if I want to go to Carl's Jr. ( a hamburger chain) I do not go at twelve noon. If I were to go in there right at noon, a whole variety of problems that I don't want to deal with would occur. Basically, I avoid crowds, as they heighten the difficulty of operating in public places with an Autism Spectrum child.

 Bring a Reinforcer Bag
   Sometimes, the place we are going in and of itself is reinforcing to the child. As in the above example, he likes Carl's Jr. and wants to go there in the first place. This makes it easier. Sometimes we need to go to a place that is not reinforcing naturally. Examples of this would be the dentist, doctor, government offices, airports and other places where "waiting" will be necessary. In these instances, I always bring along a bag of toys or edibles to engage him. It is best if he hasn't seen the objects in the bag previously- they are new items purchased particularly to make this outing go smoothly.

  Choose Seating Wisely
   When going to places such as a fast food restaurant, always choose seating wisely. Do not sit directly next to people if possible. Some children with Autism make sounds or movements that others do not expect. To avoid having others be startled I have found it best to sit a bit apart. The other day I forgot my own rule even though I have been doing this for nineteen years. I was in a rush and hastily seated us directly next to a woman. My son turned around to look at her in a way that others wouldn't have. Alarmed, she quickly got up and moved. I briefly found this hurtful until I realized it was my fault: I had forgotten my own rule. Give others a little extra space.

  Consider Noise Level
    I find the noise level of a place I am in to be very significant. If it is a noisy place I usually don't go. If it is unavoidable and I must go, I then bring headphones for him to wear.

  These are some of the ways I help my Autism Spectrum child cope and be successful in public. For the vast majority of the time we are successful. I go out during off- hours. I bring a reinforcer bag. I select seating wisely and consider the noise level of where I am going. These are the basic elements of success,
  





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