Driving is an important part of any parents’ daily life: doctor’s appointments, therapy sessions, school, or playdates generally require some form of transportation, commonly involving driving with your child in the car. For a child with autism or special needs, being constrained in the car maybe very difficult and pose challenges for the parent as well. There are often also high sensory environments with many changing variables such as noise, lights, and motion.
In addition to these considerations, there are always precautions included in the case of an accident. Regardless of the driver’s ability, you should always prepare for the worst. A large part of these safety measures is communicating to rescue and law enforcement officers that your child is on the autism spectrum and must be accomodated accordingly.
Your child might not react well to those in charge interacting with them on the road. In these uncertain times, it is more important than ever to make sure that your child stays safe when in contact with the police. Making sure that all parties involved are fully informed, specifically about your child’s behavioral changes, ensures the safest option for you and your child.
There are a few options to consider when making this decision:
- A car sticker/decal is a practical and cost-effective choice. These can easily be added to the outside of the car and are easy to find. Like this one for example.
- A seatbelt cover is a more specialized approach. These can not only indicate which person in the car has special considerations but also can have a space to include any paperwork with pertinent medical information. Here’s an option on Etsy that you can personalize!
- If your child is prone to run away, a personal indicator might be the best option. This can be a bracelet, keychain, or anything that you can attach to your child or their clothing. This should also contain a phone number to reach you if in case you are not with them. Here is one option that is like a GPS for your child!