Car travel

For those with toileting and clothing issues the need to wear a seat belt low across your hips for any period of time can be overwhelming and may result in urgent challenging behaviours. Breaking trips up into shorter periods and looking at if there is any recognisable predictability over toileting may be helpful. If appropriate safety wise consider whether air conditioning versus window partially open (as long as projectiles are managed) may help in reducing discomfort by controlling the air temperature within that part of the car. Look at the directional placement of the air vents for the air conditioning from the front dashboard and see if the air can be directed into the back seats. If present look at the lower vents in between the 2 front seats to see if that can be directed differently. Monitor the temperature of the cold air, see whether turning it higher makes a difference. Offering cold drinks may be helpful but it may also lead to more frequency or higher urgency of toilet breaks. Plan out your routes before you leave and look at all of the available toileting options or leg stretching options. Consider only taking enough packed items to make sure that the car seats around the back seats are completely empty so that arms can stretch out and favourite or preferred items can be positioned within close reach but don’t have to rest on top of them. Similar to counting down like a rocket (10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 blast off), consider using a sheet of paper with hand drawn times broken down into 5 or 10 minute intervals on it. Take a pen with you and cross off each one as you go so that the amount of time being completed for the trip is visually being ‘eaten up’ as you go. It may also be helpful to think about the time of day when you leave. Leaving earlier in the morning when there is less traffic may be less distressing or upsetting for your loved one because they can see that the lack of traffic around them means that there is less likelihood of any mishaps or that the trip might take longer, this ability to predict the flow of traffic and its impact on time management may mean that they can cope with the trip without being overwhelmed because they can see the open roads ahead of them which then allows them to relax and deal with any internal or external discomfort for ‘that’ time period and then they are free to get up and move around. This works well for those who can regulate themselves in certain situations and not in others.