Holidaying in South America

Autistic Children: Things to Consider When Hiring a Bus

by Joseph Webb

If you are planning to charter a bus to take children living with autism on a day out, it is vital that you consider their unique needs when choosing which type of bus to hire. Below is a guide to several things you should think about before making your booking.

Request a driver who is aware of autism

A child with autism may display a range of behaviours such as rocking backwards and forwards, humming or saying or shouting the same word repeatedly. These behaviours can be distracting to drivers who are not used to dealing with them. 

You should ask the bus charter company to supply a driver who is aware of how autistic children behave. If the driver you are supplied with is unfamiliar with autism, you should take the time to speak to them beforehand so you can explain the basic behaviours and needs of the children you are supervising.

Plan the route and brief the children about the trip

Many autistic children become anxious when they are surprised or are unsure of what is happening. You should try to make the bus journey as consistent as possible. You should carefully plan the route and show it to the children beforehand, making sure they know their destination and how long they will be travelling. Once the trip is underway, you should ask the driver to avoid any deviations from the route as this could induce anxiety in autistic children.

Keep stimulation to a minimum inside the bus 

Autistic children often have difficulty processing sensory information. You should do your best to reduce any sounds, lights or odours on the bus. You should ask the bus charter company to supply a bus with tinted windows to block sunlight. 

If the bus contains a radio or speakers, you should ask the driver to refrain from using these. You should also request that any air fresheners are removed from the bus to prevent any adverse reactions to the smell.

Make sure that the bus has audible alarms

Autistic children may attempt to wander off or escape from the bus. You should ensure that the doors and emergency exits on the bus you charter are fitted with audible alarms. If an autistic child attempts to leave the bus, the alarm will sound and alert you so that you can immediately respond.

Before chartering a bus, speak to a professional bus charter company for further information.