Traveling is a fun and exciting experience for most. Who would not love enjoying this activity, right? But it is not the case for children with ASD because traveling is more likely to lead to frustrations and become stressful for them. A basic fact about children with autism is that they are used to working on set schedules. Going for a vacation, even for a few days would mean causing discomfort to them and disrupting the routine they got used to.
However, this does not meant that the whole family can no longer go for vacation whey they wish to. It is still possible. To make it a fun experience for everyone, advance and thorough preparation must be made.
Starting Small and Picking a Comfortable Destination
It is important to make sure that your child will feel comfortable throughout the trip. If it is the first time of your kid to travel, it is would be best to keep the flight a short one. Choose a destination that takes only about an hour to reach.
There can also be destinations that can be considered as best options for your child. But determining these destinations depend on their needs, which parents must have thorough understanding about. For instance, does your kid love hiking and amusement parks? Regardless of the answer, it emphasizes that the destinations to be picked must be considered depending on what the child will enjoy. It is also essential to choose vacations spots where schedules are unhurried and flexible, like in the mountains or at the beach.
Arrangements Must be Made Ahead of Time
This entails calling ahead in order to make special arrangements for a more comfortable trip for your child. Make sure to contact the airlines, hotels, amusement parks and restaurants. Be sure to explain the situation and discuss your specific needs with them. If possible, request for specific accommodations to ensure the child’s comfort. Fortunately, most primary airlines, restaurants, hotels and theme parks are responsive to any possible needs of children with ASD.
Don’t Forget to Get an Authorized Letter from the Physician of Your Child
The letter must identify the child’s disability as well as needs. The purpose of this is to ensure and prevent encountering any issue with the airport security. In certain instances, like in amusement parks, such authorized letter helps avoid going to long lines, which might pose a problem since kids with autism have difficulty in waiting.
Be Prepared. Be Creative.
Waiting is something that kids with autism have a hard time doing. Hence, it is a must to include in your preparations to think about any unforeseen circumstances that may be encountered and be prepared to deal with it. In any of these circumstances, your child’s comfort level must be always considered and ensured. Some things you can do to prepare is to bring enough supply of the child’s preferred food and snacks and DVDs and activities that can keep your child busy when the unpredictable happens.
When the family is finally on the destination, get creative. This means if you think that something will turn out boring for your child with autism during the trip, you must be prepared to make it more enticing for them to participate and get busy with.
Since kids with autism thrives in routine schedules, make sure to establish one and stick to it throughout
the duration of the vacation. Of course, don’t forget that the vacation is for the whole family to enjoy. So make sure to plan and prepare with everyone in mind.