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Whether you’re a neurodivergent parent or your child is on the autism spectrum, days out can be quite daunting. However, with the right plans in place, you can enjoy your activities just like any other family.

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Ultimately, the key to success lies with structuring the day around your requirements. Here are some of the most effective ways to make that happen.


#1. Don’t Be Afraid To Enjoy The Same Day Out Twice (Or More)


Many families fall into the trap of thinking that each day out should be a new adventure. However, that simply isn’t the case. Your enjoyment as a family is far more important than whether you get to experience certain attractions or events.


If you enjoy the different colors of the aquarium, that’s great. Furthermore, you will be far less anxious about your trips back to a venue that you love, not least due to the familiarity. On a side note, you can often gain excellent value for money by booking an annual family pass. So, you’ll be able to enjoy this day out time and time again.


Better still, if you find a local attraction that is loved by all the family loves, journeys become far less daunting. 


#2. Be Prepared For Potential Difficulties


A lack of familiarity can be an issue for all neurodivergent people. As a parent, you can familiarize yourself with the journey or arrange to visit places with people that you love and trust. If something as simple as taking packed lunches will aid your comfort, do it.


When your child is neurodivergent, you can make days out seem less daunting by adding some comforting features. Visiting can help you find fun backpacks. Pack key items like visual cards or ear defenders that may be useful for calming your child in various situations. Adding comfort in testing moments will be very beneficial.


In turn, the days out will be less daunting. Meanwhile, any challenging moments faced at this time will pass far sooner.


#3. Look For Accessible Events


If your family feels comfortable visiting an attraction under ‘normal’ circumstances, that’s great. Nevertheless, a growing number of venues now organize slots that are designed to support families with extra needs. So, you can always look for these.


The accessibility upgrades are not limited to neurodiverse families. They can cover everything from mobility issues to deaf or partially sighted people. But with over five million adults and over 2% of kids having autism, neurodivergent-friendly activities are now common. They can enable your family to enjoy activities with even greater results.


Most attractions now have websites with info on scheduled times for accessible exhibitions or events. It’s worth checking before you book.


#4. Consider Outdoor Adventures


In truth, outdoor adventures make a great choice for all families. It offers a sense of freedom and an opportunity to burn off energy. Better still, there is great versatility to adapt the day – or vacation – to your tastes. For a neurodivergent family, the benefits can are incredible.


If camping in a tent doesn’t appeal, an RV can bring some comforts of home to the holiday spot. Better still, you can enjoy activities you know and love, such as cycling. However, you can embrace new surroundings to have the best of both worlds. Moreover, the freedom to be as loud as you like means that tantrums or other episodes will not be an issue.


Again, you can always revisit the same destination if the added familiarity brings comfort. Both children and adults with neurodivergent ends will respond well.


#5. Bring The Day Out To You


All neurodivergent families are unique, and you must do what is right for you. If the travel and surroundings of a day out will overawe the family, you can work around it. One of the best options is to think about bringing the event home. It can make things a lot easier.


You can visit to find out about bouncy castle hires. So, rather than visiting the local center, you can arrange a party. This way, your child can invite their friends too. If you’re neurodivergent too, the familiarity of your backyard can be very comforting. You’ll create special memories and remove many of the possible problems.


Other options include hosting a movie night rather than visiting a loud cinema. Choosing a film you know and love, along with snacks, can be far more beneficial.


#6. Research The Day Out


Brochures and websites are great tools for strengthening the sense of familiarity for your child. This can be particularly useful ahead of visiting a new location, especially an internal venue. Research can also open your eyes to on-site facilities that can help.


Even when an event isn’t tailored for neurodiversity, there may be areas dedicated to supporting families like yours. For example, many sporting venues will have sensory rooms while even airports and shopping malls can have useful items. You may not need them but knowing that they are available can make a world of difference.


If you are unsure, you can always call the venue in advance to see what on-site elements may be most useful for you. 


#7. Know That It Is OK To Reschedule


If your family lives with at least one neurodivergent person, planning is usually a good thing. After all, routines and schedules are valuable tools for helping you navigate modern life. However, there are many reasons why you may wish to reschedule your day out. 


As an autistic mom, you may simply feel overwhelmed from time to time. If so, don’t be afraid to take a break. Similarly, if the kids would benefit from delaying the trip following a busy week, that’s fine too. Even if you were supposed to take a day out with friends or extended family members, there should be no guilt about putting your needs first.


You have a lifetime to create magical memories together. It is far better to wait until another day than take a day out that you simply won’t enjoy.

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Digital Product Creator at Kori at Home
Kori is a late diagnosed autistic/ADHD mom. She is currently located in Albany, NY where she is raising a neurodiverse family. Her older daughter is non-speaking autistic (and also has ADHD and Anxiety) and her youngest daughter is HSP/Gifted. A blogger, podcaster, writer, product creator, and coach; Kori shares autism family life- the highs, lows, messy, and real. Kori brings her own life experiences as an autistic woman combined with her adventures in momming to bring you the day-to-day of her life at home. Kori is on a mission to empower moms of autistic children to make informed parenting decisions with confidence and conviction.

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1 year ago

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