Hiking with children with autism can be a wonderful experience for the children and the adults involved. Here are some tips for making your hike a successful one.
1. Choose a trail that is appropriate for the children’s abilities. If the children are new to hiking, consider a flat, easy trail.
2. Be sure to bring plenty of snacks and water for the children. Children with autism may have specific dietary needs, so ensure you bring snacks that accommodate them.
3. Pack a first aid kit for scrapes, cuts, or insect bites.
4. Bring a picnic lunch so the children can take a break and eat in a comfortable environment.
5. Allow plenty of time for breaks along the trail. Autistic children may need more frequent breaks than typical children.
6. Make sure to keep the children close by. Autistic children tend to wander off and get lost.
7. Make sure to keep the hike interesting by pointing out interesting plants and animals that can be found along the trail.
8. Keep the hike fun by playing games and singing songs.
9. Check in with the children now and then to ensure they are comfortable and having a good time.
10. Finally, praise the children for their accomplishments and for following the rules. This will help to reinforce positive behaviors.