Get the latest single parent news & help questions...
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter!

Get all the latest Aussie single parent freebies, news and articles - subscribe to our mailing list!

* indicates required
Close



Follow Us!
Get Breaking Single Parent News and the latest Single Mum Forum posts in your news feed everyday!


go to the Single Mum Australia Facebook Page go to Twitter singlemum.com.au



Single Parent Travel Exclusive



8 Ways Single Mums Can Travel With Their Children With Autism

Jane Bongato, Special Needs Early Childhood Educator | 25 September 2012




single parent family travel

Mums who have children with Autism face unusual challenges...

Mums who have children with Autism face unusual challenges. This kind of disability requires that children who suffer have constant supervision and care. For single mums, this can make traveling around Australia, or the world, extremely difficult. Not only will you be handling your own travel schedule, but you will need to take extra precautions to ensure that you and your child arrive at your destination in as easy a way as possible.

To help, here are eight ways you, the single mum, can hit the Outback roads and start exploring outside of your hometown with your autistic child.

1. Prepare before your departure

Chances are if you have never left your hometown with your autistic child, you will both be in for a new adventure together. To help prepare you and your child alike, simulate the trip prior to actually heading out on vacation. This can be as easy as packing up the car and making the trip to the store and back, or you may want to take a day trip to a local attraction and see how you and your child fare. Either way, simulating a vacation prior to your vacation can help you and your child to be mentally ready for a longer trip.

2. Make a storybook

Another way you can help prepare your child mentally for the upcoming adventure is to create a storybook. This can include pictures of the place where you will be traveling to together or images of family members you may be going to visit. By doing this, you will create excitement and inspire positive feelings about the trip.

3. Plan for boredom

Boredom can happen on a plane ride or in the car and can lead to significant difficulty to calm your child with autism down and avoid public temper tantrums or fits. To handle these situations where boredom is an extremely likely scenario, pack away more distractions and entertainment than you think you may need. This will ensure that you have enough to keep your child entertained and loving the trip.

4. Take familiar belongings

To help your child better adjust to a new setting, you will want to bring along any familiar belongings, such as bedding or a pillow, to keep your child feeling as comfortable as possible. If you will be staying in a hotel, you may want to call in advance and warn the hotel that you will be doing this and to note it on your reservation so that they can assist in making your stay an easy one.

5. Keep your child safe

It is easy for children with autism to wander off unknowingly. Make sure that you have ID on your child before you go out in public so that if anything does happen, you are still able to be reached. While there is little likelihood of this happening, you will be more at peace knowing that your child has your number in case they need to find you again.

6. Create a schedule

Having a plan is an important part of catering to your child’s needs. Traveling with an autistic child will require more organisation than if you were traveling on your own and keeping a tight plan will help you to stay on task. Within your plan, it is important to keep the interests of your child in mind and plan according to their preferences as well.

7. Make a back-up plan

Even though you plan a schedule, you know as a single mum that things can go in the opposite direction very quickly. Create a backup plan so that you can be as prepared as possible for this to happen.

8. Give your child some responsibility

This does not have to be much, but giving your child some responsibility, such as holding on to the schedule for you, will give a sense of ownership about the trip which may make them more excited to travel. Find fun things that your child can feel a part of and give the job to them to handle specific tasks. As you get ready to hit the road with your autistic child, prepare and plan as best possible so that you can be sure you have a wonderful trip together.




About the Author
Jane Bongato is an early childhood educator with a background in special education and closely works with children who have special needs for about 6 years now. She enjoys reading, painting or meeting friends during her spare time.


This article may not be reprinted, reproduced, or retransmitted in whole or in part without the express written consent of SingleMum.com.au.This article contains only general information, correct at the date of publication. For advice regarding your own personal circumstances, always seek individual advice from a qualified professional. Read the full Singlemum.com.au Disclaimer here


What does it mean to be a single mum?Of course, the

kids

are the most important thing in a single mum's life. Kids are the focus and always have been. But along with the children, there are other matters that can confuse a single mum's life.

Centrelink

plays a big part of a single mother's life, mainly because this is where a large percentage of single mums get their finances from. Centrelink are the source from where the

single mother pension

, or as it is otherwise known, the single parent payment comes from. The single mother pension is a subsistence amount, but just the same, it is money to live on, and so it is important, no matter if it is called single parent payment, single mother pension or whatever Centrelink welfare classes it at the time

Often, single mums come out of a

divorce

or defacto relationship only to find that their troubles have just begun, and find that their first step leads them towards Family Law - it's time to engage a lawyer.
There are more than just Centrelink finance problems to worry about, as mentioned before, but also

child custody

issues. Child custody is something that hits right at the heart of

single mums

. If a single mother's ex husband or ex partner has been a domestic violence perpetrator, the mum may be greatly worried about child custody. They worry that their kids won't be safe with their spouse, who has already proven to be abusive because they caused

domestic violence

, which resulted in a divorce or separation.

Even so,

Family Court

will often still order a form of child custody named

Shared Parenting

. Shared Parenting is a form of child custody division of time or parental responsibility between the parents. Mother's often look for a good divorce lawyer to try to avoid share parenting with an abusive ex-spouse after divorce, however in many cases Shared Parenting is still the outcome after the divorce, no matter how good the divorce lawyers have been. They will often settle for visitation at a contact centre or access centre where fathers or mothers are supervised during child custody access.

Please remember the bigger font words,because we will use it often in our website.