Go to Florida they said, amazing theme parks, great weather, the family will love it & you can even fly from Stansted....yegh right!! The lure of a the perfect family holiday was all too much & we fell for it. We hadn't received the diagnosis yet...so we still thought - it'll be fine, what is the worst that can happen.
What diagnosis I hear you ask....the one that says your daughter is on the spectrum, your daughter has Aspergers...and will probably struggle with Airports!! Needless to say she did. As a parent of a child with Autism you obviously know that the things we take for granted can often seem insormountable to our amazing kids. Oh and the other issue for Amelie is that she is blind. So making her way through an airport was never going to be easy. We just failed to understand how tough it would be. The build up months in advance, trying to prepare her for 10 days in an unfamiliar setting, making our way through an airport full of people & noise, the plane (oh my word that bloody plane) & we've not even landed yet!!
Don't get me wrong the staff at Universal Theme Park were amazing...and they did eventually help my daughter following one monster meltdown. But the whole thing was just too much. 'I don't like holidays - too much change.' What seems like the perfect holiday to most people, can be hell for kids on the spectrum. Amelie just wants to feel comfortable in familiar surroundings...not sure we could have placed her in more unfamiliar surroundings if we'd have tried.
So we vowed never to fly again & we bought a VW T5 Campervan. And it works....Amelie knows the Campervan - she sits in the back with all that she needs. Table in front, USB charger to her side, cup holder & her sister to her side....PERFECT!! We've even been across to Holland via the ferry. An absolute dream...load up, drive onto the ferry, walk up to the overnight cabin & then drive to the campsite in Holland. All in the safe space that is the Campervan....she loves it.
So if you if you do have a child who gets anxious, is on the spectrum & you'd like to think about holidays that might actually be enjoyable. Then please get in touch - if you are close by we can bring the Campervan to you so your child can familiarise themselves with the space & then hopefully be comfortable for your holiday trip. Whatever you do, we wish you the very best of luck with your AMAZING kids & your next family holiday.