Autism from a mama who has been there. I am going to try to post every day this month. Please feel free to ask questions in the comments.
Traveling, to go or not to go?
We traveled a lot in the military. We moved, we vacationed, we explored, and when our son was little, it was easy. Then it got harder. And harder.
At some point, you have to consider leaving your autistic child at home. It happens, you aren’t cruel. This is loving, the hard way.
He was not our only child; we had many variables to consider. Deprive our other children of all opportunities just to save a public meltdown? Deprive him of experience? We had to start reviewing each adventure, vacation, field trip, play, or outing on a day-to-day basis.
Camping, our son was good with camping, but could NOT be left alone. Not even for a minute. Museums, one on one! Your autistic child will need your undivided attention, make sure another adult will be responsible for the other siblings. Our son loved plays and movies, but hated concerts. If we were going to a loud, crowded event? Get a sitter.
And this can change by the day, by the hour. One of our family mottos is Semper Gumby, always flexible. It started as a military family joke but ended up being an autistic family lifesaver. Be prepared to drop everything at a moment’s notice.
In the end, you try to do what is best for each member of your family. And remember that you are a team. Everyone cheers for each other! Supports each other, and “celebrates the small stuff.”
Celebrate the small stuff. Be flexible. Laugh.