I’ve never been a huge fan anyone telling anyone else what to do when it comes to an Autistic child. The reason being, every child is different and just because they may carry the same label, doesn’t mean they have anything else in common.
That being said, there is value in sharing one’s personal experience because everyone can learn from the experience and decide if or when it applies to their particular situation.
Having just spent ten days on vacation, four of which involved were simply driving, I learned a few things that worked for my three kids with Autism.
At this point, I only want to focus on what I believe to be the most important thing I learned from this experience.
This may or may not benefit your family but if I had only one piece of advice, it would be quality or quantity.
What do I mean by quality over quantity?
When we underwent our trip, we had the ability to literally go to every single amusement part in the Orlando area. These are just a few examples:
- Kennedy Space Center
- Universal Studios
- Animal Kingdom
- and a ton of other activities
At first, we were going to try and cram as much in as possible because we would likely never have a second chance to go.
After the very first park we went to, we realized that cramming as much in as possible, was probably a very bad idea.
We went to Legoland on our first day and our eyes were opened. The boys were having so much fun but that fun came at a cost. They became very overstimulated, easily frustrated and walking meltdowns.
Something that we can sometimes forget is that stimulation or excitement, is stimulation and excitement. It doesn’t matter how positive the situation was that created the stimulus or excitement, it can still lead to overstimulation and that can put a huge damper on things for everyone.
Rather than trying to cram everything in, we sat down as a family and decided what was theost important things we wanted to do.
Instead of trying to get time in at all these different parks, we opted to visit three.
On Monday we visited Legoland and kept Tuesday low key so the kids could recover. On Wednesday we visited Harry Potter at Universal Studios, and again took the next day off. Friday we chose to visit SeaWorld, before leaving to come home the following day.
We found that by handling things like this, the boys were experience some amazing things, without bombarding them with too much stimulation.
By taking the next day off, so to speak, we allowed them time to decompress a bit before going for our next experience.
By not overdoing things, they were able to enjoy themselves without being miserable afterwords..
We chose quality over quantity. Make sense?
This may not work in your particular situation but it’s definitely worth thinking about.
Have you taken your child with Autism on vacation? How does it go and does what we did make sense to you? Please discuss in the comments below.