Natural disasters happen all the time and current events are causing a huge increase in anxiety across all age groups. However, for children on the autism spectrum, disasters can be even more stressful, both for themselves and their caregivers. There are a few things you can do to help with autism triggers and symptoms during these stressful events. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Be Calm Whenever Possible
It’s normal to feel stressed during disasters, especially when they’re happening around you. Instead of giving into that stress, do your best to be as calm as possible around your child. They’re perceptive and if they see you getting stressed or scared, they’ll pick up on those emotions. When this happens, it could trigger a meltdown which will make it even harder for you to get your child to a safe place. When you’re calm, you’ll be better able to tell them what to do and they’ll be better able to follow your instructions. Having an emergency plan in place will help you feel more confident and prepared during the situation.
Create an Emergency Kit
It’s a great idea for every family, whether their children are on the spectrum or not, to have an emergency kit on-hand. This kit should include first aid supplies, medical records, prescription medications, and emergency contact information at a bare minimum. You can also include your child’s favorite games or books and any devices they need to feel safe. Earplugs, blankets, and other items that help them cope with their triggers are great additions.
Explain What’s Happening
It’s normal for your child to have questions and ignoring those questions can often lead to worse meltdowns or cause them to feel more stressed than they should. If you find yourself in the middle of an emergency situation, get to a safe place and then explain what’s happening. Define terms your child might be unfamiliar with and take the time to answer their questions to the best of your ability. Remember, it’s okay to admit that you don’t know the answers.
Get Advice from an Expert
As a parent, you want what’s best for your child at all times. Emergency situations can make things more difficult, but with the right steps, you’ll be able to manage and help with autism triggers more effectively. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or aren’t sure how to best help your child, don’t wait. Schedule an appointment today. Our team will help you find new and more effective methods to better help your child on the spectrum.