Archives for posts with tag: Break

Traveling with autistic children is daunting enough since they still need routine and structure. Vacationing brings quite the opposite, so we’ve come up with a few words of wisdom to remember the next time you take a road trip or a plane ride with your autistic child.

Family vacation - Special Needs Essentials

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare
Prepare with your child weeks in advance. Particularly if traveling by air, you’ll want to repeatedly go over the process, from leaving the house to checking in, going through security, waiting, boarding, fastening seat belts, and so forth. Managing your autistic child’s expectations is the most important part of going away, no matter what method in which you choose to travel.

2. Should you fly
Flying? Call your airline in advance, and notify them you’ll be traveling with an autistic child — they should allow you to board early. Some airports even have special autism access programs that allow autistic children to go to the airport days or weeks in advance for things like mock boardings, which will help your child to become more comfortable and familiar with the entire Mother playing with her son - Special Needs Essentialsairport process. Don’t forget to plan the meal in advance with the airline as well as seating arrangements. Pack your eating aids if necessary. Try to book bulkhead seats so there’s more room to move and less possibility of feeling claustrophobic.

3. Should you drive
Driving? Drive at night to lessen outside distractions and help give your child more peace of mind. Along with educational and entertaining DVDs, don’t forget to bring along a pair of headphones for every child — and a pair for mom or dad wouldn’t hurt either so no one is forced to agree on anything. We also recommend arming yourself with plenty of activity kits and toys you can simply throw in the backseat.

4. Undecided destination?
Autistic child outside - Special Needs EssentialsIf you haven’t chosen how you’ll vacation, consider a simple camping trip. Most trips require a lot of outside distractions with theme parks, getting around cities, and so forth. And while those trips are ones your family can’t avoid forever, break it up a bit by going camping sometimes too, which allows you to concentrate more on one another. Free from the go-go-go feeling of most vacations, a camping trip keeps the focus on the family and makes it possible to watch your autistic child more closely. Bring headphones in case there’s noise from neighboring campers, and research what campsites have close-by bathrooms and activities for children.

5. Things to pack
No matter what you decide to do, you might want to pack these items when traveling with your autistic child.
Disposable wipes
Sensory toys
Activity kits

Good luck! And don’t hesitate to share your experience in comments…


Cathy and Dominic 2Hi everyone! Today Cathy from Bountifulplate shares with us her very valuable review on bubble toys! Cathy is a homemaker/wife and a mother to a 10-year old son with Autism and ADHD, an 18-year old daughter who is a college freshman and a stepson who is 30. Originally from Maryland, she has lived in the Midwest for 13 years.

772821_2We took Dominic to a family camp several years ago. It was a wonderful place, but with him not being potty trained at the time and having limited speech, there were really no activities for him to participate in. He and I spent a lot of time in and around our cabin. The weather was spectacular the entire week we were at camp and we spent many, many hours outdoors. I was so glad that I had tucked a huge bottle of bubbles into our car at the last minute along with our suitcases, because we spent 95% of the week blowing bubbles!

big bubbleOne of the many benefits of bubbles is improving oral motor control. When Dominic blew a bubble by himself for the first time, I was ready to have a party! An automatic bubble blower is great too, because it produces tons of bubbles with the flick of a switch, thus promoting fine motor skills. Dominic is fascinated with bubbles and wanted to go outside to blow some a 775051_1few days ago. Given that the temperature today is a “balmy” six degrees, I think we may need to wait until it gets just a little bit warmer here in Michigan!

Cathy B.

%d bloggers like this: