By Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Safety/Preparedness Specialist
With temperatures over 100 degrees in much of the United States, most families are challenged simply keeping everyone comfortable, hydrated, and content. Then, if you add into a household the mix of individuals affected by autism, with their tendencies to be overly-sensitive to temperatures, frustration when routine is disrupted, and struggles with impulsivity—August can be a very tricky month for everyone. This was too true for our family when Heidi and her three older sister were growing up. With her dual-diagnosis of Down syndrome and autism, she was cute as a pixie, but often kept us on high-alert, (or “Heidi-alert”). I recall countless summer vacations, where it sure didn’t feel like a vacation.