1. Offer a variety of drink options: Some children with autism may have specific preferences for beverages, so offer range of options such as water, flavored water, juice, smoothies, and herbal teas. Chef Justin likes MIO small flavored drops. He adds them to his water bottles.

2. Use visual supports: Visual schedules and reminders help children with autism understand the importance of drinking water throughout the day. We also race to drink 16 oz of water at breakfast , lunch and supper.

3. Set routine: Establishing regular drink breaks throughout the day can help children hydrated consistently.

4. Use sensory-friendly cups: Some children with autism may have sensory sensitivities that make it difficult for them to drink from certain types of cups. Find a cup that works best for your child’s needs.

5. Offer frozen treats: Popsicles, ice chips, and frozen fruit can be a fun way to keep children hydrated while also providing a sensory experience. We also freeze grapes and eat them as a snack throughout the day.

6. Make hydration fun: Use colorful cups, silly straws, or water bottles with their favorite characters to make drinking more engaging.

7. Monitor intake: Keep track of how much your child is drinking throughout the day to ensure they are getting enough fluids. We sometimes start with a gallon jug each and draw faces on it during the day.

8. Encourage water-rich foods: Include foods with high water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, and oranges, in your child’s diet to help keep them hydrated.

9. Involve your child in meal preparation: Children may be more likely to drink fluids if they are involved in choosing and preparing their own drinks. Justin’s more in charge of meals than I am. He loves making ice cubes in molds that are shapes and using them in his water.

10. Seek professional support: If you’re struggling to keep your child hydrated, consider consulting with a healthcare provider or therapist who specializes in working with children with autism for additional strategies and support.