Special Needs Children and Long-Distance Car Trips

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Special Needs Children and Long-Distance Car Trips

Special Needs Children and Long-Distance Car Trips | Los Angeles Education

Los Angeles County parents often dread long-distance car trips with children because of the high potential for fighting children and whining toddlers. Add the unique needs of Special Needs children into the mix, and parents have a situation that they do not ever want to visit. However, these quick tips can help parents of children with either mental or physical disabilities create a car environment that will be pleasant for all of their children.

Preparing for Long-Distance Car Trips with Special Needs Children

  • First, special needs children need to have plenty of preparation for a long car trip. This is particularly true for children who have sensory issues. Parents will need to talk through what will happen with their children and perhaps even show them videos of what they will be seeing, such as busy freeways or spacious scenery. Parents may also want to try several shorter car first to get their children used to the idea of spending time in a vehicle.
  • Second, parents will want to have a well-stocked car when traveling with special education children. What exactly to bring depends on the child’s unique needs, but here are a few ideas. Activity bags can be packed for each child. While parents will want to bring familiar toys and sensory stimulating objects from home, they may also want to consider packing something new for each day to give their children something to anticipate. Children who need plenty of stimulation will want to have their favorite sing-along CDs with them, or an education tablet, such as a Leap Pad. Children who cannot be over-stimulated may need earplugs or plenty of quiet time.
  • Third, parents should consider what time of day is best for traveling. In many cases, parents with younger children may find that driving at night works best for them to decrease stimulation and to allow plenty of sleep time for children during the drive. However, families that prefer to travel during the day should plan to make plenty of rest stops and should stop at least every two hours. Parents of children with physical disabilities will want to plan ahead to find rest stops that are accessible for their children.
Of course, every child has unique needs that make them who they are. At Newman Aaronson Vanaman, we can help with legal representation for special needs children and can help solve problems with professional knowledge and caring attitudes.
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