Posted:
November 13, 2019

How to Go Out for Dinner When Your Child Has Autism

How to Go Out for Dinner When Your Child Has Autism
Guide
Courtney Keleher, M.Ed., BCBA, LABA, LBA
Author

Jordan Brown

Specializes in: Verbal behavior, functional communication, behavior support planning, ABA insurance funding, Early Intervention, organizational behavior management, strategic planning.

Find out more about
AnswersNow.

Laptop view
Start Your Consultation

First things first. These five tips will help you reduce restaurant anxiety for your family:

  1. Pick a time when there will be very few people (no lines/no waiting). I highly suggest between 2:30pm-4:00pm. Most restaurants are near empty at this time.
  2. Call ahead and order your food. Talk to the manager and explain what you are doing. You can say something like, “I’m practicing taking my child to a restaurant. Please have the food on the table when we get there.”
  3. This is key for “undoing” some of the negative experiences so they walk in, sit down and the food is already there. You know your child best, so pick their favorite food.
  4. If all is going well, try to make sure they get a little dessert. Don’t wait until their plate is empty. Instead, bring it 5-10 minutes after they sit down.
  5. Leave when the going is good. Don’t push it. If all is going well at this point simply say, “What a good dinner! We’re leaving in two minutes. Did you have a good time?” And then leave.

If all goes well, you have a “win” under your belt and a good foundation for future success. Keep everything the same for a couple of visits and then build in small “delays.” For instance, the next time you arrive, arrange it so that you “wait” one minute before the food arrives.We hope this helps!

Click here to connect with your own expert--and learn more tips that can help you wherever you are with whatever your challenge may be.

Trustpilot
Working with over 442 families

Connect with a Master-Level ABA clinical in 24 hours

Making ABA therapy available online to everyone. Easy, Affordable and ready for your family.

Resources, to help your ABA needs

Our behavior analysts love sharing their knowledge. Have a question you can't find an answer to here? Start chatting with your behavior analyst today and get the answers you need.

How to Prepare Your Child with Autism for the Holidays
View More

Our Digital Therapy Experience
View More

Building Rapport: Why it matters for clinicians working with children
View More

Building rapport or establishing connections is crucial for clinicians working with children.