Traveling with autistic kids.
Even though my child is autistic, I have never shied away from taking trips with him.
He has been on numerous planes and car trips. He has stayed in many hotels and even ridden a few trains.
We have traveled to the East Coast (where I hail from) many times.
My child has logged more vacation hours than many of his peers.
What is it about traveling with autistic kids?
One time we took our child on a day trip to Catalina Island, an island off the coast of South California (we live in the area).
The boat trip goes about 30 miles from the Port of Los Angeles.
It was my first time to Catalina as well as the first time for my son.
We had an early departure time from the San Pedro harbor.
After meeting up with our group, my very excited child had to wait to get on the boat. He has never been good at waiting.
We have tricks for this issue. We play with him, walk him around, and get him through waiting periods.
Finally, we boarded the boat.
This was the first time our son had been on a boat. It was not a cruise ship-sized boat but rather one that could transport up to 200 people to the island. (A small passenger-sized boat).
It was possible that it could be a rough ride.
The boat rocked quite a bit, it was a rough ride.
Riding on a boat with my autistic son.
Needless to say, the ride didn’t bother us nor did it bother my son.
How did we get him through this trip?
We were given some advice about the trip to Catalina.
First, we were told not to set him up for sea sickness by talking about. We didn’t ask him if he felt okay or anything like that. We ignored the conversation completely.
Second, we did not–as a preventative–give our child Dramamine or any pills for seasickness. Why give it to him if he didn’t need it?
Turns out, our child did fine. He even liked the ride on the boat.
Other modes of transportation with my autistic son.
When we got to Catalina, we also had a very long bus ride around the island. The roads are very steep and curvy. At times, it really felt like we could easily fall off the edge of a very steep cliff.
Yet again, our child did just fine!
The reward at the end of the bus trip was a visit to the Catalina airport. My child was delighted.
The day was long but it was a good day. It was another notch in my child’s vacation belt.
I think it’s important to vacation with your autistic child. Or, at least, try it. You never know, you may end up having a good time.
Here are some more travel tips: