Tag Archives: children with autism

Planning Ahead: Tips for Increasing Your Child’s Success when Dining out in a Restaurant

We know that sometimes as parents it can be very difficult to take a child with autism to a restaurant with you. You might be worried that people may judge you if your child misbehaves. Below are some tips on how to plan ahead before going out to help keep your child successful and your trip enjoyable!

dining

1.) Find places that are designated as autism friendly; that may not have as many people and are not as brightly lit or as loud.

2.) Keep your child with you at all times, this will make them feel safe knowing that you’re by them.

3.) Set the expectations ahead of time as to where you’re going and what they can or cannot do while you’re there.

4.) Let your child have a say in what you do, you can even show them pictures so they can help decide where you’re going.

5.) Use the bathroom before leaving the house so your child is comfortable.

6.) Bring an item for your child to play with that they enjoy while you wait for your food – this could be an iPad, sensory items, toys or even a snack.

7.) Look at the menu beforehand, make sure there is a food option for your child that they will eat.

8.) Make a reservation or call ahead so you don’t have to wait to be seated upon arrival.

9.) Ask for a seat in a quieter, less crowded section of the restaurant, this can be less over-stimulating for your child.

10.) Don’t be afraid to ask the server for help – if your child needs a lid for their cup, or a snack to come out quickly.

11.) Request the check as soon as your food arrives.  This way, you will not have to wait long after your child is done eating.

12.) When your child behaves desirably reinforce good behavior with a snack or preferred item to play with.  Make good behavior worthwhile so they will want to behave well in the future.

13.) Have your child keep a preferred item with them so they will be less likely to be upset if they cannot have something they want.

Post by Holli Novinger, BCaBA, Manager of our Indianapolis Area Locations

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Autism… Real Awareness

We recently did an information session and were asked a question about “tolerance”… here are some of our thoughts on the topic.

With autism on the rise (now 1 in every 50 children diagnosed) I feel it is important to help educate people about autism.

Autism is a neurological disorder that affects a child’s ability to communicate and interact with others.  Autism is also a spectrum disorder so the symptoms of autism can range from mild to severe.  Because autism affects a child’s ability to communicate effectively, a child may engage in “meltdowns” as a way to communicate with others. Children with autism may sometimes seem “withdrawn” from others or have a difficult time tolerating loud noises.

You may be in a grocery store and see a child crying in the aisle for a toy or eating in a restaurant and see a child covering his ears because the noise is too loud.

If you happen to be somewhere in the community and see something like this, please keep in mind the child is not being “naughty” and his or her parents are NOT bad parents or have poor parenting skills.  The child may, in fact, have autism and struggling to cope with his or her environment.

Having a child with autism can be challenging at times.  However, each child with autism is also incredibly special and unique! Remember, there is nothing “wrong” with a child with autism.  A child with autism is just different….and there is nothing wrong with being different….because being different can actually be a good thing!  So please help support children and families touched by autism and help spread the word about autism awareness!

autism awareness

spreading real autism awareness!