Travel, something I always wanted to do, something that I am somewhat limited to do now that I have a child with Autism. I find, over the last few years, Autism is becoming more of an accepted condition and the general public is showing more tolerance and understanding towards not only the individual with Autism, but also to their families. That being said, dealing with the public is the smallest hindrance when it comes to travel with a family member who has autism.
I recently took my son, who is eight, on a vacation to Halifax. We’ve been there before so he knows the route and the routine. SURPRISE, every adventure is just that, an adventure. Between construction on the road, gas stations packed to the doors and the day to day hustle and bustle of a maritime tourist season, even at age 8 there is still melt downs, still set backs but there are also still lots of laughs. Never allow the fear of a melt down hold you back.
My husband and I aim to provide our son with every experience possible. Just KNOW THEIR LIMITS. I know as of today, I could not hop on a plane with my son and expect him to sit still for a 6hour flight. Maybe someday. And maybe with the little things I throw at him on a daily basis, he will gain the tolerance for distances, but that’s not today.
Right now, we have to take things as they come. Don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. Many people you pass on your travels either have a family member with Autism or know someone personally with Autism. They are usually more than willing to let you skip a bathroom line to prevent a meltdown and they usually don’t mind the “behaviours” that you notice but no one else does.
So go ahead, let your children experience the fun in their own back yard. Let them get muddy along the trail and let them splash in the surf. Though these little things may seem insignificant to you, to your kids, allowing them to be a child means the world.