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How to be an independent traveller

Learning to travel and get about independently, can mean many different things for young people with SEND. It may mean being able to go to the local shops on their own, using public transport or even learning to drive. 

Things young people with SEND should know, so they can travel independently

Your young person should:

  • Know their name, age, home address and school /or college address. They should be able to give that information to someone who needs it
  • Be 'stranger danger' aware. They should know who it is best to approach, if they feel scared or threatened
  • Know how to get to their destination. And how they are going to get back!
  • Learn road safety, so they can travel safely
  • Have an idea of how to tell the time
  • Have a basic idea of money. Visit 'My money' in Local Offer for Children and Young People for helpful guidance. They should also know how to pay for things and fares on public transport
  • Know how to use a simple mobile phone responsibly. Read an easy read guide on how to use a mobile phone 
  • Know what to do and what number to call in an emergency

Learning some of these things may take a long time. It can take a lot of thinking about and loads of practice. You can read our safe travel tips for further advice.

Travel planning and trying different forms of transport

It is important to give your young person opportunities to try different types of public transport, cycling and walking. Not just car journeys! You may worry about your young person with SEND using public transport, because:

  • They need to plan travel routes
  • They need know what to do if there is a disruption to the normal route, or journey timings

However there are several websites that can help you and your young person plan a route:

The following guidance and information might also help you:

People who can help your young person to travel independently

  • Parent/carers

You have an important role in supporting your young person. You can help them learn to travel independently, and give them opportunities to practice the skills they need.  Read about one families' experience of travel training (pdf) (PDF) [103KB]. Their young person uses a checklist to help them plan (pdf) (PDF) [52KB], which might be useful.

For young people with SEND who are 16-25-years-old. Our team will help your young person learn to travel to college, sixth form or another educational setting independently.

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