Planning your Vacation with your Autistic Child

Now that you have selected a travel destination, it would be best for you to start planning your vacation.

Prepare your autistic child for the family vacation by letting him know what to expect and when to expect it. Let him know when you are leaving, how long the vacation will last and when you will come back. It would be a good idea to mark it on a visual calendar and create a visual countdown of the number of days before the trip. This way, your child can see and anticipate when the actual trip will be.

Since many autistic children are very visual in nature, it is also a good idea to help your child prepare for the trip by showing him pictures and videos of what to expect during the vacation. Show him some photos of your destination and some photos of the activities that you and your family will engage in. If you do not have some photos available, you can always go on the web and do a Google search. You can also visit your destination’s website.

Think about all the possible issues and problems that you and your autistic child may encounter. Be prepared to handle such issues and always bring everything you need to be able to handle the situation. Maybe your child’s green alligator stuffed toy can help appease him each time he gets upset. Do not forget to bring this valuable toy with you as it will make the difference between a stressful and a stress free vacation.

When thinking about your child’s comfort, do not forget to consider your other family members’ comfort too. Keep in mind that this is a family vacation and that other family members also need to be attended to. Just as you have prepared to handle your autistic child’s tantrum, you also need to be prepared to handle the disappointment that the other family members may feel just in case an activity is suddenly cut short due to your autistic child.

Consider this scenario and prepare for it. Maybe you can bring some of their favorite movies or boardgames so they can have something fun to do when you unexpectedly head back to your hotel. Or maybe you can choose an accommodation which offers a lot of fun activities on site for the family. This way, everyone’s needs are addressed.


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