Virtual trips to psychologically support children with autism

Reports released by the Ministry of Community Development show that “organizing virtual trips for children with autism helps them embrace the idea of ​​traveling and learn about the experience of being in this type of environment”, stressing that this alleviates tension and annoyance that these children feel during their real experience.When traveling by plane.

In a guide that was recently launched on the occasion of Autism Month, which falls in April each year, the ministry identified seven services that should be available at airports and airplanes friendly to people with autism, to be offer them a comfortable and safe environment.

Services include providing dedicated parking spaces for people with disabilities, including people with autism and their families, to facilitate their disembarkation and boarding at “departure” and “arrival” gates at the airport, and the provision of traffic service fast for people. with autism and their families, to reduce their waiting hours at the airport, in addition to preparing a certain place. For children, including those with autism, it serves as a play and relaxation room, offering virtual travel trips and assigning realistic experimental trips, enabling the child to visit the airport and board the plane without actually traveling, in order to prepare it for the real travel experience and get autistic kids with a simple gift from the Airport or plane crew and seat preparation. in the aircraft with special specifications, with the possibility of control of the sitting position, and sensory effects, such as lighting and sound.

Emirates Today reviewed an electronic copy of the guide, which clarified the most important findings of international studies and practices in the field of protecting the rights of children with autism, while they were exposed to psychological stress while in crowded places. people.

For her part, the Director of the Department of Care and Rehabilitation of Determined Persons in the Ministry, Wafa Hamad bin Suleiman, confirmed for “Emirates Today” that the acceptance and understanding of the differences and needs of people with autism, with the division of responsibilities and shared efforts between individuals and institutions, is the best way to build friendly environments for people with disabilities. Autism, calling always to remember that people with autism are different and distinct, and that every autistic child is different from the other, and what may suit one child is not sure it will suit another child.

Ben Sulaiman stated that waiting at airports, which requires queuing, checkpoints and other procedures, makes some people with autism nervous and upset, leading them to socially unacceptable behaviors, such as shouting, crying. , self-harm or hitting others. Or unwillingness to be in place.

She said that proper treatment by the child’s parents, or his companions, can save them from many of the embarrassments caused by these concerns, by following some guidelines, at the top of which is restraint from violence and punishment with the child under any circumstances, and being calm and patient and preparing in advance for any health problems the child may be exposed to during the journey. It is worth noting that the Ministry of Community Development has intensified its efforts over the past month to raise awareness of “autism”, as April is dedicated worldwide to focus on activities and events that support people in this category (autism) and education. community members on the nature of autism disorder and awareness of its characteristics, in order to contribute to enabling them to realize their rights through a greater understanding of their needs and challenges.

Measures to calm an autistic child during Eid shopping

The “Autism Friendly Environments Guide” has identified a number of procedures that are recommended to be followed, whether with autistic children or other children, so that you can carry out your shopping task with comfort and pleasure, and without exposing the child. to the tension that pushes him to act improperly.

The director of the Umm Al Quwain Autism Center, which is affiliated with the Ministry of Community Development, Fayza Muhammad Al-Muaini, said parents should follow some guidelines while in public places with children with autism who have a different temperament. and personality traits than others, adding that holidays and special occasions Holidays are witnessing more frequent than usual visits to shopping malls, which are usually crowded and crowded, which requires prior preparation for the trip. of shopping with the child to help him understand experience and respond well to them.Because he suffers from double stress and has different needs from the rest of the children.

Al-Muaini said the child should be psychologically prepared before going to the mall through social stories, photos, videos and fake games, as well as watching a video from the internet or recording a country video and watching it with the child before going to the center.

Procedures to help a child with autism adjust to the shopping experience:

• Prepare the shopping list with the child according to his abilities.

• Make your child’s favorite rubric at the end of the visit and inform him / her about it, to increase the shopping period and to train him / her with patience and anticipation.

• Put on a headphone or soundproof headset with your baby’s favorite music during shopping.

• Let the child, while waiting in the coffers, hold his favorite item or favorite toy.

• Giving the child the opportunity to pay in cash or by credit card during the accounting process, to develop his social communication skills.

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