Vacations! They can be stressful enough. I mean, all the planning, finding a deal, finding a destination that the whole family will love, taking time off, etc. etc. It’s a mindnumb.
But, they are truly worth it, in my opinion. An escape with the family, a chance to make memories and enjoy fun filled adventure..it’s a priceless experience. When you have an autistic child, vacation planning is taken to a whole another level. Here’s what is important to remember: preparation, preparation, preparation.
Vacation can be a scary time for your ASD child. It’s confusing, a new setting, a learning experience, leaving behind the comfort of home, it’s a lot of stress on your child. Keep reading how you can help your autistic child during family vacations.
Choosing A Location Based on Your Child’s Needs
First, choose your location based on your autistic child’s needs. For example, if he or she is sensitive to sound, a loud place like a theme part may not be the best idea. Quieter vacations are within reach. Think of small beaches, camping, hiking, activities more like that, that the whole family can enjoy.
You also consider taking your vacation during the off-season. Not only will it be cheaper, but it give your child more comfort if he or she is nervous in crowded situations, and provides you with piece of mind.
When traveling, consider these as well:
- How far is it from home?
- How will you get there?
- Will an airport or flight be required?
Being outside is a good idea. Places like the beach work because your child can yell and not disrupt others. Children who are normally non-responsive may benefit from a museum, where they can ask questions and you can ask questions of them.
Remember that most people on vacation at the location you choose will have never dealt with autism before. Try to be understanding of this but also stick up for your child if he or she is being treated unfairly.
Don’t be without your go-pack. At least that’s what we call it
Packing for Your Trip
on our house. It’s a small pack filled with our little guy’s favorites to keep him calm and happy during outings. Things like snacks, fidget toys, calming sensory toys, etc. They are a big help with doctor’s visits, long car rides, etc.
Pack comfortable clothing for your little one and try to bring a little of home with you on vacation. This might mean bringing their favorite blanket, nightlight or stuffed animal. Every little bit helps.
With a planning and prep, vacation plans with your autistic little one can be no more stressful than planning vacay with neurotypical kiddos. Do you have some tips to add? Comment below so we can expand on the post!