Raising An ASD Child Should Not Stop Your Family From Travelling

It’s the school’s summer vacation. Our daughter is all excited about it. 

Typically, our family heading towards the airport and travelling somewhere at this time of the year. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our travel plans due to COVID-19. 

My daughter is certainly not happy about the news. She had all planned how she was going to board an aeroplane and visit her relatives in Singapore. She even took out all the luggage.

What’s interesting is that my daughter was never a fan of travelling to begin with. 

The Challenges Of Travelling With ASD Children

According to a study by IBCCES, only 13% of autism families surveyed take family vacations. 

Travelling with a child with ASD comes with some challenges. My daughter hated going through travel customs {who doesn’t}, screamed and cried during flights, disliked staying at hotels, rarely slept, showed stress, anxiety and hyperactivity in unfamiliar situations, and she often had motion sickness.  

For a while, my family considered ending our family travels for our daughter’s sake. 

At the same time, we refuse to let our daughter’s condition box us in or direct our life to a point where we stay home and not travel. 

Our family envision a life of travel and adventures. 

Many parents can feel like hostages within the rigid confines of their child’s autism diagnosis. Hence, they never go to restaurants or take trips for fear of a meltdown. 

While life does flow more smoothly when following a strict routine, for parents and siblings, it can start to feel like not living. 

It is all too easy to become isolated in your home because of your child’s needs, and that is not healthy for you and your family. Travel allows us as a family to move out of our comfort zone and avoid the trap of isolation. 

Don’t Let Their Autism Diagnosis Limit Your Family Life

While we accept our daughter for who she is, we still want to challenge her and experience a world beyond the comforts of home. We want to expose her to a world of possibilities and dreams.  

This means putting aside whatever fears and reservations we have about travelling with a child with special needs, and making necessary adaptations to her sensitivities and needs so that she can do the same things as others. This comes with careful planning and preparation, practice runsvisual schedules and frequent sensory breaks

Here are more tips on travelling with your children with ASD.

I am happy that my family made the decision to continue our travelling lifestyle. While our journey started with bumps and frustrations, through lots of practice, my daughter is a pretty season traveler today. 

My advice to families having reservations travelling with a special needs child, don’t let their diagnosis limit your family life. They can experience and enjoy a life of travel with extra help and adaptation. I can tell you from experience that my daughter’s significant developments often happened during our travels. 

While we are not able to travel this year, my daughter is ready to pack her bags anytime and explore the world with me. 

Do you travel with your children with autism? Do share some of your experiences with us.