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How easy or difficult is it for you?

When ds#1 (autistic) was first diagnosed, his OT therapist told us he won't do well with change so don't plan on any holidays because it will totally upset him and your family.

I was determined not to let autism run our family, but to work around it. Dh at the time travelled extensively in his job and often I'd pack the 3 kids up and away we'd go. We'd stay at the same hotels, eat at the same restaurants and watch the same tv programs so that ds wouldn't be too upset. It worked wonderfully and we were able to do a lot of travelling doing the same routine. There were a few times it was a little difficult, but overall he adjusted well and the change, I think, did him good.

Two years ago, we took the trip of a lifetime. We rented a motorhome and went to visit a son out in Kitimat, B.C. It was a wonderful trip but ds#1 had a very difficult time. There were just too many changes for him, and each day he got quieter and more subdued and you could tell he wasn't handling the trip well. It took him a good week to get back into a routine when we got home.

How does travelling with a special needs child/ren affect your holidays? How have you made it easier to your child/ren? Have you given up holidays all together?
 

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I think it's important to try and maintain as normal a routine as possible but still celebrate the holidays and take vacations. I think it's wonderful that you tried to keep to some of the same places and routines with your son when on some of your trips. That being said, please try and hear my heart on what I am about to write next.:angel:

I think it's very important for your whole family to also be able to take those trips of a lifetime. If these trips prove too stressful for your son, maybe a relative or trusted friend whom your son knows well could come and stay with him in your home while the rest of the family goes. Your other children need to have as normal a life as possible and not feel that they were "deprived" of vacations because of their older brother nopt being able to handle it(this would just lead to resentment on their part). I know many families that have had to make arrangements for their special needs child whether that child was with them on vacation or remained home. Having a special needs child does put a strain on the entire family (even though you love them) and sometimes you need to take a much needed and deserved break so you can recharge your batteries so to speak. It doesn't make you a "bad person" to admit that you need these breaks either. I used to volunteer with "hospice", giving families with special needs members a break. I'd take my "friend" swimming once a week while her parents spent some much needed alone time with each other or with their other children. I loved my Angie and took a girl who was terrified of the water and worked with her until she not only was comfortable in it, but learned to swim and love it!!! I also volunteered with Special Olympics and one of my team members is now a good friend. We have a good friend, Jason, who stays with us when his parents need a break. He's 30, but functions as a 8 year old and has some autistic tendencies (he's actually high functioning). We love him to pieces, but are worn out by the time the week is out. LOL!:D I can only imagine what his parents feel like. We know most of his siblings and they tell us that their parents always took vacations with all the kids and a few times left Jason with relatives if they knew it would be too stimulating for him. The siblings are all very close now and I believe it is in part because the parents tried to give all the kids as normal a life as possible.
 

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FV Buddy aka Kellie Bob
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We do all the "normal" family things, including holidays, vacations etc. We do try to keep things as routine as possible with same rules, bedtimes and make an extreme effort to keep meds at same time.
 
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