For kids with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families, venturing out into the community, even for casual errands, can be challenging. Children who have autism may have a hard time understanding the social cues that guide appropriate and safe behaviors outside the home.
This may make you hesitant to take your child out in public. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to increase your child’s success when out in the community.
Children with autism may wander or run away. Use these strategies to discourage your child from wandering:
Children with autism may struggle in crowded or new situations, which may result in tantrums. Try preventing tantrums by implementing a few of these tips:
Give your child plenty of chances to practice being in challenging environments. Start in a setting where your child is likely to be successful. If he struggles with crowded grocery stores, start in small convenience stores during off-peak hours. When practicing, be sure to:
Remember to praise and reward your child with positive feedback frequently. Recognition is especially important to kids with autism. At first, you child may need near-constant praise and rewards for appropriate behavior in these settings. However, these can be decreased as your child experiences success. Read more about setting goals and tracking your child’s behavior.
We recognize that every child is unique and that the content of these articles may not work for everyone. This content is general information and is not specific medical advice. We hope these tips will serve as a jumping-off point for finding the best approach to helping a child with autism. Always consult with a doctor or healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns about the health of a child. In case of an urgent concern or emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department right away. Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals on the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta team are independent providers and are not our employees.