Family Travel and Autism

It's Time for Everyone to Have Fun!

The Key to Happiness is Preparation

This site is dedicated includes destination reviews, tips and tricks and any means to make your vacation easier.  This page is dedicated to that single agent crucial to any vacations success - autism or not.  Preparation.

Preparation for our population has a different meaning.  Yes, you should read everything and anything on your destination but you also need to prepare your children.  Neurotypical and autistic.  Preparation for a child with autism has a completely meaning than for his/hers siblings.

Preparing an autistic child for vacation should begin with an understanding with their core problem areas.  If sensory issues are a problem, then you need to address those.  For example, an amusement park visit may require headphones/earplugs for a child with audio difficulties.  If you child is on the diet, then reserve a room with a refrigerator.  That is simple, right?

But what about preparing your child in other ways?  Perhaps a social story discussing issues that come up on the ride -- like hitting your sister or singing the Mickey Mouse theme song 91 times.  Rent a  video of your destination for your child to watch.  Or a library book on the destination.  If they use visual schedules, then prepare a visual schedule for the week of vacation. 

Also think through the location.  The beach is a family favorite but could be an issue for any child.  The sound of the waves, feel of sand and wind, taste of the water, bright sun -- all together equals sensory overload.  Maybe you put sand in a bucket and dip their feet in?  Or you can buy a wave CD and play it at night for a few weeks before you leave. And if worse comes to worse, you divide and conquer.  One parent takes the sibs to the beach and the other to the pool.  Or you all visit the pool.

Taking the time to prepare can help you anticipate several problems.  This will allow to roll with the problems you didn't anticipate.  And you know those will happen . . .

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