For some reason most women want to get rid of their diaper bag as soon as possible. Those same women buy pocketbooks that are bigger than most diaper bags. With an autistic child, you may want to keep bringing stuff with you. If an actual diaper bag is out of the fashion statement you want to make, buy a pocketbook, backpack, or bag that you can keep everything you need in.
If you have an autistic child, the toddler stage lasts forever. You need to continuously bring change of clothes and diapers with you and your child. Most parents stop using a diaper bag by the time their child is two. For an autistic child you may need a diaper bag until the child is five or six. At the very minimum, you will need to bring a change of clothes until the child is fully potty trained.
Here is a list of a few items that you should bring as a parent of an autistic child.
Two changes of clothes – If you have a child in diapers, you need at least one change of clothes for your child. When you are going to be gone all day, it is always best to be safe and take two changes of clothes. Whether you need to change your children because they had an accident or because they got dirty, you will be prepared.
Two Diapers/Underwear and rubber pants – It’s always good to keep diapers or underpants with you when your child is not potty trained. Autistic children usually take longer than normal children to potty train. Accidents happen so it is best to be prepared.
Three favorite toys for gratification (rewards) – Some autistic toddlers have problems with change. You may take them somewhere and they will fuss the whole time you are there. There are also the autistic toddlers who will cry for “no reason” while they are in public. These are the children that need props to get their behavior where you want it.
Most toddlers, autistic or not, do not want to leave somewhere that they are having fun at. The difference between an autistic toddler and a non-autistic toddler is that you can reason with the non-autistic toddler. The autistic toddler needs visual stimuli to want to leave. This is what the toys and rewards are for. Show the toddler what you have and coax him or her with you. You can also give the child the item if you are just looking for him or her to stop the tantrum. The items need to be instantaneous or the autistic child may have a meltdown that is hard to stop.
Drinks and snacks – A handy little item to have on hand is a snack for your child. If you are going to carry a bag around anyway, you might as well equip it with a favorite snack and drink. Toddlers can get fussy when they are thirsty or hungry and if your child is autistic and cannot tell you the problem, you will have the solution on hand that will calm him or her down.
Band-aids, Desitin, antiseptic, baby wipes – Accidents happen. It’s always a good idea to keep band-aids and antiseptic on hand. Desitin is also a necessity with a child that is not potty trained. Baby wipes can come in handy for a little of everything. Even if you no longer have a child in diapers, you may want to have baby wipes on hand. Most restrooms have antibacterial soap for washing your hands so you will not have to take that with you.
If you are a mother on the go, these items are great to take with you for your autistic child. Enjoy your day out and do not worry about running home if there is an accident.