Something as simple as eating out with your child with autism can often be a stressful and anxiety inducing time for a family and child. Children can become easily over stimulated in the loud and sometimes busy and chaotic environment. Below, we have outlined what we hope will be some helpful and useful tips for taking your child with autism out to eat.
7 Tips for Eating Out with Your Child with Autism
- If possible, go at a quiet time of day. Think early dinners around 4:00 or 5:00 pm if your families schedule allows it. Consider a late afternoon lunch if you are going out on the weekends. Early dinners and late lunches tend to be less busy for restaurants and will provide a quieter and less stimulating environment for your child.
- Ask to not be seated next to the kitchen, bathrooms or main entrance to help minimize the number of people that are walking by your table. Additionally, if there are any large parties ask to be seated away from them.
- Sit in the corner; this will make it so that there are only two walls that are open to sound.
- If possible, ask for a booth instead of a table, this will help provide a more contained environment for your child.
- Ask your server to give you a heads up if there will be any singing for a birthday at a table close by so that you can take your child outside for a few moments while they sing.
- Should your child get overstimulated take your child outside and let him/her walk around for a few moments or go sit in the car so that they can calm down.
- Try to keep your child occupied while at dinner. This can mean coloring, playing with an iPad, bringing a favorite toy – whatever your child enjoys!
When facing the challenges of parenting a child with autism, it’s important for caregivers to understand they are not alone. With 1 in 61 children diagnosed with autism, there are many parents and caregivers going through the same struggles. At Lighthouse, we understand the importance of these caregivers finding a supportive community with others who are experiencing the same daily tasks, challenges and joys that they are.
LAC encourages families to get to know each other, as no one better understands what you are going through than other families going through the same thing. Parents dropping off and picking up their children often get to know each other, and can get together for play dates, coffee, or even just for a quick conversation before picking their kids up from the center. We pride ourselves on creating an atmosphere where families can support each other and their children.
Looking for support for your child with autism? Contact LAC today!
An autism diagnosis does not just affect the individual diagnosed, but the family, caregivers, and friends that interact with that individual or child. It is often challenging to find other people who understand what you are going through, or the daily challenges you may face caring for someone with autism. These top podcasts provide information as well as practical experiences of those who live, work and interact with those who have autism.
Joyriding in Autismland: Autism Podcast with Kid Gigawatt
“Launched by parents of an infectiously funny and mostly happy boy on the spectrum, the Joyriding in Autismland podcast chats with ASD parents, kiddos, therapists, writers, and artists about the unexpected, charming, and funny moments with Autism. Because laughing is the best vacation.”
All Autism Talk
“Connecting the Autism Community One Podcast at a Time — Our podcast offers a friendly conversation with inspiring individuals in the autism community. Our aim is to provide valuable insights and information as well as access to support in communities throughout the United States. Join us!”
Autism Spectrum Radio
“Our show offers a great weekly conversation to inspire, inform and support families and individuals living with autism. We offer practical information for parents of children of all ages. The show explores treatment topics and recent research. We have a variety of guests to share their expertise, experience and resources.”
To learn more about available autism resources, contact LAC today!
As a parent, it is our goal to love and protect our children. This means doing everything in our power to make sure our child is loved, happy, and healthy. While it may be difficult to admit your child may have a problem, when it comes to an autism diagnosis, every minute matters. The best thing you could do for your child with autism is identify it early and enroll them in ABA therapy as soon as possible.
So, what is autism and how do you know if your child may have it?
Autism spectrum disorder is a spectrum of closely related disorders with shared core symptoms. Autism generally appears in infancy and early childhood, causing a delay in basic areas of development such as talking, playing and interacting with others.
As a parent, it is important to look for early signs of autism in your child. Symptoms can appear as early as six months of age and ideally, autism should be identified and treated beginning by 18 months of age. This will provide your child with the best opportunity for treatment.
What are the early signs of autism you should look for in your child and what steps should you take if you think your child has autism?
- Developmental Delays – autism involves a variety of developmental delays including: no social smiling, lack of eye contact, poor visual tracking, unexpected reactions to sounds, lack of social babbling, not responding to name, lack of interest in interacting, not meeting verbal milestones, etc…
- Trust your instinct – as a parent, you know your child best. Sometimes, even well-meaning doctors can miss signs of autism. If your gut is telling you something is wrong, take action and be persistent.
- Don’t “wait and see” – some parents may want to “wait and see” if their child hasn’t reached certain developmental milestones. If you suspect something may be wrong, take action. The best thing you can do for your child with autism is identify the diagnosis early and begin treatment.
Do you suspect your child may have autism? Contact Lighthouse today!