Parenting a child with complex social, emotional or behavioural needs can be really challenging. This can be difficult enough to manage in the home environment. Leaving the home can be fraught with anxiety over what might happen if your child has an 'episode'. Known triggers that you try to avoid in the home are less easy to control when in public spaces and at school. When your child 'kicks off' in a public place, apart from dealing with your child's behaviour, you have to deal with your own feelings of embarrassment and being judged as a 'poor parent who can't control their kid.' Sometimes it can be necessary to explain that your child has a condition that makes the current situation difficult for them. This might be to somebody official or it could just be that irritating member of the public 'tutting' behind you or worse making unhelpful comments like 'I wouldn't have that from my kid!'
The following cards can help as they can be quickly used to explain your child's condition. They can add a little 'officialness' to your plea for them to understand your child's needs. People tend to be more accepting and positively responsive when they can see it written down! There are separate cards that can be carried by the child and parent. They can simply thank the person for understanding or you can choose to write down some advice about how to manage your child's needs. They can be particularly useful for handing to staff and other people when visiting somewhere new or unfamiliar so as to hopefully avoid triggers