Traveling and Autism

It’s hard, isn’t it?  Routines are blown to hell.  Everything is different, even from day to day.  There are strange foods, different expectations, and it’s just difficult.

We do not often stay at hotels on our vacations, because we are lucky enough to know and love people who live near the ocean, and almost all of our vacations are spent with those people in that place.  It’s a no-brainer.  While those vacations are not easy, by any means, this type of vacation we just took, where we were all in hotel rooms in a different city, was challenging in many ways.

One of The Boy’s biggest issues was the restaurants.  At his favorite restaurant here at home, the children’s menu is blank on one side, giving him ample room to draw.  The waitresses know him, and know to bring a crayon of each color (red, blue, green, and orange), and they have to be sharp, or he will ask for sharp crayons.  You can imagine how lovely eating out was this past weekend.  Not every place even has a paper children’s menu, or one that is blank on the back, and even though we tried to be proactive and bring blank paper,or the paper menu he drew on the previous night, it wasn’t good enough, and he threw a couple of fits.  Luckily, they didn’t get too out of hand, and with a little ignoring, he came around, ordered food, and drew on what was available with what was available.

Another issue was his mission to find a pair of glasses to wear, like Steve Jobs.  He started with The Man’s reading glasses, but we didn’t want him to wear those around and break or lose them ruin his eyes.  He began to look for glasses whenever we were in a shop.  Of course many of them were readers, and those wouldn’t work, and it began to look like this quest would overtake us, so to speak, and become the focus of our trip.  Luckily we found a cheap pair at a flea market fairly early on that were only half shaded, and he convinced himself that these were perfect (whew!).

All in all, he really did have a good time, and we were able to adapt to each situation and either come up with a solution, or get him to cooperate.  But he was super anxious to get back home and get back into his routines.  Vacation is never completely a vacation for either of us (unless my mom and dad or Fantastic Babysitter are taking care of The Boy, and then it really, REALLY is!).

How do you deal with vacations and traveling?

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