This is a contributed post and therefore may not represent the views and opinions of this blog or its author.
There are some distinct challenges that a parent faces when their child has autism and getting them prepared and ready for an important event like a wedding, graduation, or party can be one of them. Luckily, there are some practical strategies that you can use to make this task a great deal easier. Read on to find out what they are.
First of all, it’s likely that your child will need to dress in a certain way for a specific event. Sadly, this can create a problem for those diagnosed with autism because they generally aren’t too keen on a change in their routine. Add this to the fact that they can be physically hypersensitive to the comfort of what they are wearing as well, and getting them into a suit or shirt and tie can seem like an unscalable mountain, all before you have even left the house.
A change in the usual dress can be problematic for those with autism.
However, there are ways to make this process a little easier. First of all, let them be involved with choosing smarter garments at the time of purchase, something that you can use an online store like John Henric US for. Then you don’t have to navigate the shops and suffer all the stress of trying things on in dressing rooms.
Whenever possible, also wash the garment ahead of time with plenty of fabric conditioner to make them as soft as possible. Try and use an unscented version if you can as those with autism can also be very sensitive to smell too.
Lastly, provide your child with a visual aid by handing the outfit they will need to wear up in their room a few days before the big day, giving them some time to get used to the idea that this is the outfit they will need to sport.
Of course, in a perfect world, you would ensure that your child heads to bed early for a long and refreshing night’s sleep before a big event. However, anxiety and excitement can put pay to this, especially in the case of those that have autism.
With this in mind, try not get too uptight about early beds and getting to sleep on time, as you will just be adding to the problem. Instead, try and take them out to burn some energy beforehand so they feel naturally more tired and encourage them to rest and take some down even if they can’t get to sleep.
Pack a bag
Something else that can be very helpful when you have a child with autism that has an important day ahead is to pack them a bag with all the resources they will need to survive. This may include snack and drinks, as well as a schedule for the day so they know what to expect next, something that can help to reduce anxiety.
Also, include things like headphones and save anti-anxiety meditations to their phone. Then they can take a moment to distract themselves if they become overwhelmed, which can also help them to function at their best during an important event.