My number one tip for vacationing with #Autistic children

My number one tip for vacationing with #Autistic children

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:

  • Disney
  • Kennedy Space Center
  • Universal Studios
  • Legoland
  • SeaWorld
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Epcot
  • 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.

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Jimmy Rock

I actually was thinking about commenting on this during your trip but didn’t want it to come across like an attempt to tell you how to plan your itinerary, but I was going to say at the time that it seemed like you had a good handle on not feeling the pressure to do too much and cram in as much as possible.

All kids, autistic or neurotypical or whatever, have their limitations. I took a recent trip to Disney with my kids (one autistic and one NT) and planned out each day to do the right amount that worked for everyone. I can’t tell you how many families I saw there with crying kids, and exasperated parents, all feeling the pressure to have as much fun as possible.

With all the options you had in front of you, it’s a big task to minimize expectations. I would guess, though, staying in the village made it a little easier (it’s all relative) because on a “downtime” day there was still plenty of activity going on right there that you could seek out with minimal effort, if anyone/everyone felt up to it.

Rob Gorski

Thanks Jimmy. We’ll said. While we weren’t pressured to do as much as possible, we still felt like we should take full advantage of the opportunity. At the same time, we had to do what was best for our family and in that case, less was more. ☺

Becky Wiren

I think this was wise. Even for the NT, a trip cramming as many parks in as possible would be too much. Of course, most families would probably only be able to afford one, or at the most 2 places. Sounds like everyone had a great time and you did what worked the best for you all.

Annie Lynn

I wish you had been around to give me advice 15 yrs ago, Your plan makes sense, and we all know it. Or we should by now, lol. Thanks for your great blog & advice.✌

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