There are many benefits associated with going on a family vacation. After all, without having to contend with work, school, or your usual social calendar, you can spend more quality time with each other than ever before.

While you may view an escape from your home and routine as something to look forward to, this can be an incredibly daunting experience for children with autism and related disorders. This is because they tend to thrive in familiar environments and prefer to stick to a consistent routine as a result.

However, that’s not to say that those with autism and related disorders cannot enjoy vacationing – you may simply need to put some extra accommodations in place to care for them during your travels.

With that in mind, here are some tips that may be useful when heading out on your summer vacation!

Put together a vacation schedule.

While you may be keen to catch up on sleep and enjoy a more relaxed pace of life during your vacation, putting together some kind of schedule or routine can help your child manage feelings of stress and anxiety. This is because it feels as though they are not stepping into the ‘unknown.’

For example, you could put together a list of everything you want to do during your vacation and discuss these options with your child. If you’re going to be visiting specific attractions, show them pictures ahead of time so they have an idea of what to expect when they arrive.

Bring some home comforts with you.

Bringing some home comforts with you can also help your child to feel more relaxed on vacation. For example, if they have sensory issues, they may not like the feeling of certain fabrics or materials, which could mean they won’t be able to sleep using hotel bed sheets. Bringing your own from home provides them with a sense of comfort while also ensuring they get enough sleep.

Be prepared for potential changes in behavior.

While taking steps to prepare your child for your vacation ensures they have the best possible time, you should also be aware of the signs that indicate they are struggling or feel overwhelmed. This puts you in the best possible situation to do something about it quickly.

For example, you may notice they are stimming much more intensely or often. This can be combated by identifying the trigger and working to reduce its impact on their day. For example, if you’re in an overly noisy environment, you could move to a quieter space or reach for sound-canceling headphones.

Chat with their therapist.

If your child is enrolled in some kind of interventive therapy, such as Applied Behavior Analysis, speaking with their therapist beforehand is also useful. This is because they’ll have a deeper understanding of your child’s needs and what you need to do to support them when traveling.

With decades of experience and a real passion for helping children thrive, we’ve curated a range of therapy programs for those with autism and related disorders. So, whether you’re planning the perfect autism-friendly vacation or want to prepare your child for the school environment, please do not hesitate to reach out today. We look forward to hearing from you.

Any questions? Give us a call!


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