Traveling with children can be daunting, and when you travel with a child who has autism and requires organized structure, venturing out into unfamiliar surroundings can add an entirely new dimension to the experience.
Autism is a spectrum of neurological disorders characterized by severe and pervasive impairment in various areas of development such as language and social skills. It affects 1 in 88 children, primarily boys, and it is most often detected by age 3. Because children with autism typically require predictability, vacations can be over-stimulating and distressing for the child with autism.
Unfortunately, there are many parents with children on the autism spectrum who are afraid of journeying beyond their own communities. Even thinking about taking a vacation can summon up feelings of trepidation in parents and family members. Caregivers are overwhelmed at the thought of managing quirky, self-injurious, or violent behaviors that their child might exhibit in public; they also fear stares, rude comments, or judgments by others. They may opt, therefore, to keep their special needs child at home.
But traveling with kids who have autism is possible and doesn't have to be difficult. Here are tips that can make your trip a pleasurable one for your child and a positive experience for the family.