Have a Stress-Less Vacation
For students on the Autism spectrum and their caregivers, school holidays aren’t all they are cracked up to be.
Children on the Autism spectrum are sensitive to changes in routine and holidays from school can be very stressful. What is intended to be a time of reprieve and relaxation quickly devolves into a time of chaos, stress, and tears. By the time break is over, it is a challenge to re-establish the routine of getting out of bed, getting ready for school, and completing the school day – business as usual.
Decisions of the school system are out of your control, but here are some ways to get through the break a little easier.
Keep the routine going
If you’re going out of town…
Going out of town for vacation can be a whole different animal. I get it, trust me. It’s like ramping up the chaos meter 3-fold. Definitely maintain routine as much as possible, just like if you were staying home. It will require a bit of extra energy to accomplish routine away from home because, well, everything is different!
If you’re taking a flight, be sure to plan in mega-advance, especially if your child has never flown before!
Prepare your child for the airport adventure…
In your backpack/Satchel of Successful Travel Power:
If your child has never flown before, take a trip to the airport in advance. Airports are usually accommodating and are happy to show your child what will happen when they go through security. For example, Philadelphia International Airport offers an Airport Autism Access Program. Check your local airport’s Accessibility Information webpage to get more information on what services they offer
Contact TSA Cares to review security accommodation options for the day of your flight
Request priority boarding from your airline in advance to reduce time waiting at the gate
If you’re stretched for time (which I bet you are!), I recommend checking out Wings for Autism, a program that basically covers all the bases from security to boarding. It’s offered at more than 50 airports across the country. 🙂
Also, check out this list of sensory-friendly vacation destinations!
I hope you have a great break with your family.
What are you guys doing for upcoming vacations?