ADHD Vacation and Traveling: Holidays with an ADHD child.
ADHD vacation planning: the Holidays are here. Plan ahead, be prepared and pack some patience before you leave. Relaxing by a pool, meandering through shops and historic districts, and leisurely late-night dinners may all sound like ideal activities best saved for those precious vacation days. If you’re traveling with a child who has attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), however, you know unplanned, unstructured vacation days can be hard to achieve.
Children with ADHD are creatures of habit. They like (and more importantly, need) order and structure in their day. Planning a vacation where you are going to arrive in a town and then “wing it” as you find things to do is not going to sit well with an ADHD child, and will more than likely turn a relaxing family vacation into one full of stress and anxiety.
By employing some or all of these simple steps, you can create a holiday your entire family will enjoy.
ADHD Vacation Tip #1: Stick to a Routine
As already mentioned, ADHD kids need structure and like to know what will be happening. Do your best to involve them in as much of the planning as possible. Of course, you don’t want to divulge everything, particularly if there is a big surprise planned. If you can involve them in everything from the time you want to leave in the morning to where you plan on having lunch, your child will feel more comfortable in knowing what to expect.
ADHD Vacation Tip #2: Use Technology
Use technology to your full advantage. Don’t load up a tablet or laptop with games or movies, but rather search for apps or programs where your child can learn about the city or venue you are going to. Often these apps are specifically designed for children with ADHD, and they will go a long way in keeping your child involved and interested.
ADHD Vacation Tip #3: Plan Some Downtime
Make sure you plan for some down time during your day. You know your child better than anyone. You already know how much stimuli they can handle and for how long. If there is a particular time of day when your child likes to have some quiet time, then carry it over into your vacation plans.
ADHD Vaction Tip #4: Be Flexible
Be flexible. There are times when this is hard. If you need to board a plane or have reservations, these commitments often need to be kept. However, if you can keep a level of flexibility in your daily activities, everyone will benefit if you need to alter your plans.
ADHD Vacation Tip #5: Reward System
Have a small reward system in place. Everyone appreciates knowing they have done well. Acknowledging and rewarding your ADHD child if they have persevered a busy day will go a long way to instilling confidence in your child.
Using these simple tips, you can ensure this year’s family vacation is one to remember for years to come.