AAC on the Go: 5 Tips for Traveling with AAC

March 10, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

AAC on the Go: 5 Tips for Traveling with AAC
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It’s Spring Break here in Florida and that makes us think of traveling. Traveling is never easy, but people who use AAC don’t let that stop them. Here are some tips for making travel easier.

1. Prepare with a social story. There are some great ones available online, like this one from Autisable (downloadable version here) and . Books and narratives about travelling, such as this one from Kids Can Dream, can also be helpful. Keep the visual element strong by downloading travel brochures for places you will visit, looking at images together, or watching online videos of your destination.

2. Put it on the (visual) calendar. If you have a monthly or weekly calendar, add symbols to for the trip. Look at the calendar together to talk about it, what you’ll be doing, etc. Doing this repeatedly, can ease the transition into this new territory. Consider doing a countdown visual support that goes -along with the calendar and look at it daily (e.g., “5 more sleeps until our trip, 4 more sleeps until our trip…”).

3. Consider making mini schedules for specific parts of your trip. A visual schedule for attending an out of state wedding, for example, might delineate the things that will happen on the wedding day (e.g., get shower, drive to the church/temple, watch and listen to the ceremony, drive back to the hotel, play special games with the babysitter, etc).

4. Know how your SGD and AT fits into your travel logistics. If you are flying, using the rail system, or other public transportation, you’ll want to look into any rules/regulations that could impact your use of SGS. In the US, the Transportation Security Administration has an initiative to better serve people with disabilities. You can look at their suggestions for going through airport security with SGDs here.

5. Get any visual supports you need ready. Consider what new vocabulary or messages might need to be added or practiced. If you need additional supports for managing stress, like a set of self-calming choices that can be used while traveling, this is the time to prepare those. More info on those here and some downloads on this page.

aac on the go


Friendship Circle has a wonderful PreFlight Checklist with a wealth of information for families travelling with children who have all sorts of special needs.  What are your tips for travelling with SGDs or making trips successful for people who use AAC?

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This post was written by Carole Zangari

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