Arm in Arm with Autism in August? Beat the Heat

By Elayne Pearson, Special Needs Safety/Preparedness Specialist

Elayne's daughter, Miss Heidi Pearson.

Elayne’s daughter, Miss Heidi Pearson.

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.

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