Does your child or family member have an Autism Spectrum Disorder? Does taking a trip with Autism seem like a daunting task? Impact Vacations has some tips and planning tools to make traveling with Autism easier.
- Plan ahead
Not everyone can travel on the fly. People with Autism need structure to their daily routines. Plan your vacation in advance so you can walk your family member through the trip before departure. Make sure they know what to expect and when to expect it. Social stories have been proven to assist those with Autism anticipate and deal with changes to their routines. A social story outlining their vacation will assist the person with Autism anticipate what is next to come and provides some structure to their vacation.
- Plan for downtime
Everyone needs some quiet time during the day. Someone with Autism often requires a little extra downtime so they do not get overstimulated by their surroundings. When planning your daily activities while on vacation, schedule downtime into every day. This will help everyone take some time during the day to recover and relax.
- Prepare for sensory concerns
Make sure to bring sensory items that are familiar to assist in dealing with oversensitivity. By packing headphones or sensory toys you can prevent or delay a potential meltdown. Not everything can be planned for but by being prepared with some basic tools will assist in making the best of each situation and setting everyone up for success.
- Contact the hotel and other providers
Make sure to speak to the hotel, airlines and any other company providing services for you during your vacation. By explaining your needs before arrival, the notes can be added to your file and additional assistance can be provided to make your stay more enjoyable. An accessible travel consultant can assist with contacting all service providers for your trip.
- Be prepared for the unexpected
You can never plan for everything. Something will always happen that is unexpected or may throw you off during your trip. But do not let it destroy your vacation. Be prepared to overcome obstacles if they should arise. Traveling with special needs holds its own challenges but can also be extremely rewarding to see the smiles on people’s faces. Do not let the unexpected stop you from experiencing what the world has to offer.
Social stories can be a huge help for those traveling with Autism. The story provides the person with an expected routine while they are out of their normal surrounds. Even though social stories cannot account for everything on your trip, spontaneous activities or mishaps, some predictability can make the other stuff easier to manage mentally. Make sure to be prepared. Your accessible travel agent can assist with all arrangements and social story creations to ensure the smoothest itinerary for your family.