"Sensory-wise, I like to prepare my kids if they are especially sensitive to touching and feeling novel items. If you're going to the beach, practice stepping in sand and having sand between your toes. If you're going to a marsh or swamp, jump/walk through puddles around school or at home. Try to mimic the environment as well as use a social story."
"I work with kids between the ages of 5 and 9. I like to make sure that I have a high student to adult ratio. I prefer one on one. This allows the kids to explore the location at their own pace and take breaks when needed without disrupting the other students. I also make sure to have fidgets for the bus ride and preferred familiar, food to enjoy while we are there. I find that little snacks during the day help to keep everyone happy and calm."
"We just want on field trip last week. We have calander every day we put it on the calander and talked about how many days we had. We wrote a Social Story on what to expect. We did worksheet with boardmaker that we used when we dicussed the trip. Example: on the top of sheet was titled, 'what we will see' under title was picture of what we would see and some thing we would not see. As we discussed the trip we did and followed along with the work sheets. We used mini schudels for those who needed them, when we where on the flield trip so they would know what to expect. Than after the trip we had take home book about the trip with dessions starts and worksheet simialer to the one we used before the trip. So the parents could use these at home."
"I teach pre-k kids. The first thing I do is start talking about the subject of our trip in my lesson. (Last week we went to the pumpkin patch, so we've been reading about pumpkins during group time). Then I add a toy bus to my object schedule that day, so that they can see the change in schedule. I also started this year reading a book about bus safety. It has simple pictures of walking feet, quiet voices, buckle up, etc. As I read the book I have the kids press a big mac that says "I'll be safe." Last week I tried to prepare them early for the trip on the bus, and they were so excited about it that I couldn't get them to want to do anything else. I also have toy busses and yellow bus die-cuts for kids to hold who have a little more trouble understanding that they're going to ride on the bus."
"I always prepare my son starting about a week before the field trip, by reminding him daily of the field trip and how that day will be different than a usual day at school. He gets upset with changes in his routine, but does okay with field trips when I have prepared him and given him time to accept that there will be a change in his routine."
"Colin just needs supervision. The added supervision is a must with kids on the spectrum--especially in new environments. He is easy--his autism has mild symptoms. So DEFINITELY extra supervision--like lining up a 'trip buddy' and a para is important--or I think so.
Taylor will do well in some but not in others. They call me from the school, and talk to me about each field trip. Since she cannot sit for long periods of time, and doesn't pay attention to detailed field trips (stage shows, dancing shows, etc), we decide to keep her home during these--she stays at the school and they plan a SPECIAL DAY, just for her--during the time the kids are at the field trip, she does fun things that also cater to her autism issues. She has no problem staying behind because she gets that 'extra special time' at school.
I don't know what tips you can get from those but, like today--they are going for chinese food. They are walking up to one about a 1/2 mile from here, as an 'autumn exploration' type of walking trip on the way. Taylor and Colin absolutely LOVE Chinese food and I have brought them to this place before--it is buffet and I let them choose what they want. So, the place is familiar to both of them. Taylor will have a one on one para and Colin's para will be there to supervise a few of the kids, as well as other kids having their own para. I have heard about this field trip, ever 3 minutes from Colin, for 3 days now (he has remarkable memory about dates, times and events, as well as procedure). I will probably hear about it, every 3 minutes AFTER the field trip, for a few days..lol..
Anyway, today's field trip will be integrated for Taylor--she will stop and touch/feel leaves, crunch them as she walks--Colin will have his little girl buddy show him things as they walk and talk to him. Then, when they get there, I am sure Colin and Taylor BOTH will show everyone how it is done..lol"
"If possible, I try to go to the location before we take our trip there. I make social story books for each of the kids so they can see where we'll be going. We will usually go over it for a few days, and I will send it home with the kids so they have it at home to review as well.
This has helped with preventing 'surprises' - so the kids know exactly what to expect.
We also wear wristbands that have our school contact info and a place to write a cell phone number - each student wears one any time we leave the building."
"Just for a little humor....my son (3.5 at the time) bit the Farmer's Dog on his first field trip/hayride.
I am not sure how I would word that tip.
We found since then, that if we take a trip to the place beforehand, it is easier for him to tolerate. If you can't actually go to the place, introduce some objects that the child may see there. Do this everyday for a few days. As you know, familiarity with the situation makes EVERYONE, ASD or not, much more comfortable."
"Last year, Jake's spec ed teacher discovered that Jake needs an aide for any off campus trips. Nothing else works and the aide didn't always work, sometimes it was all just simply too much for him. At those times, the aide simply walked Jake away from everyone and everything for some needed down time. They would return when Jake was ready. This year, it is in his IEP...no aide, no trip."
Thank you to all of the teachers and parents who shared their tips! Clip Art courtesy of Lakeshore Learning