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Should we go camping with child with ASD

(24 Posts)
countdowntoxmas Thu 28-Jul-11 13:08:42

and if so, where? We are in the Southeast. Has anyone had any experience of campsites where they have been particularly good with your children with disabilities?

utah Thu 28-Jul-11 15:52:47

Have to say this is a judgement call only you as a family can make, for me it is a no as no safe way to secure son from running. Mine would also go stir crazy of an evening with nowhere to run/play once in tent for night. We have thought of going camping close to home so each night me or dp takes son home and returns the next day. Before son with autism have stayed at bunn leisure near Chichester which was nice.

appropriatelytrained Thu 28-Jul-11 17:40:03

I have to say my son with AS is a different boy camping - maybe because it's ok to just wear wellies and be near naked all day and no one cares! Also there is so much space to run and just be yourself.

I've also found that he know recognises the tent and sees it as a home from home whereas when we stay in new places - hotels, cottages etc - you can get alot of sensory overload.

I think it very much depends on the age and difficulties of the individual child.

We camp at Tower Park in St Buryan, Cornwall and have had a fab time every time we have visited.

RCToday Thu 28-Jul-11 17:45:31

Depends on the child I think, DS loves it and seems more relaxed in some ways, mixes better with new children, loves the beach and sandpit but becomes more fussy about food, which is ok as I suppose he can have a bit of control over that

All in all I think its great for my DS

Good luck if you do try it

Starchart Thu 28-Jul-11 18:10:18

yes. Camping is brilliant for ds.

It is a great leveller for all the children too. Children approach my ds and try to engage with him because at times, he is all they have, and they put up with his odd behaviours and persist at trying to get him to bowl to their cricket bat etc.

Buy a wierd tent, and take some lego or something, so that other children spend time near your tent.

You'll have less to worry about overnight than you think because hours of being outside running round the field means that they sleep better.

Honestly, camping is the most relaxing holiday I have, because I don't have to keep stopping ds from going too near someone elses sunbed. He's not cooped up in a hotel room. He doesn't play with the cuttlery and bang it on the table etc etc. I can just have a rest from trying to get him to conform to acceptable levels of behaviour for OTHER people all the time.

mum0ftw0 Thu 28-Jul-11 22:10:18

We go wild camping in the Lakes.
DS is absolutely fine with it.
Obviously someone needs to know where he is at all times, but weknow a lovely lace that's not dangerous at all smile

smugtandemfeeder Thu 28-Jul-11 22:17:34

We found this place in North Devon. It is peaceful and safe.


We also went to mortehoe which was simply stunning and peaceful (apart from DS waking at 5am screaming!) It has its own private stretch of land down to the beach.

It was very hard work camping with DS but no different to being at home and he loved it so much. Def worth going.

May be too far for you but there were lots of people from the south east there so maybe not.

lisad123 Fri 29-Jul-11 08:25:46

yes, my two love it! The beds are always the same, the kitchen is always the same, the tent always the same grin
We love fen farm on mersea island in essex for somewhere nearby, nothing there to overload, just nice clean shower and toilets, a park, the little beach, and masses of fields smile
Freedom to run and shout makes them so shattered by the end its great

Ben10isthespawnofthedevil Fri 29-Jul-11 09:44:42

It sounds like a nightmare for us TBH! No tv and no PS3 grin grin

appropriatelytrained Fri 29-Jul-11 09:45:06

It's really interesting reading posts about the freedom and inclusivity of camping. Not to get all arty farty, but it makes me think that we put up so many barriers of 'normality' when we construct our society - schools and workplaces etc.

Get people away from this and out in the open, alongside each other, taking people on face value, and differences don't seem so big any more. People are very accepting and the child becomes more engaged because the pressure on them to confirm is reduced

lisad123 Fri 29-Jul-11 09:54:33

we take a tv/dvd and the ds's grin

Tiggles Fri 29-Jul-11 09:56:28

My DSs all adore camping. DS1 has AS, DS2 has probably ASD.
Of all the places we have camped I would most recommend here
DS2 however is obsessed by machinery and this being a farm has loads of it! It is a working farm and there are several sheds just full of old tractor parts which he could stand and gaze at all day!
We camped in a largish field with only a couple of other tents in so the kids could run up and down to their hearts content without worrying anybody else. There aren't loads of other kids as isn't directly aimed at kids so no other tutting parents with wonderfully behaved children!

clangermum Sat 30-Jul-11 21:46:33

Yes, it's the tutting parents with wonderfully behaved children that would put me off - that and being too close to any other pitches, as mine tend to be incredibly noisy and argumentative. I think they'd enjoy it though - just that it might be stressful for us. Maybe we'll try a short break near home. I like the idea that if it gets too much, one parent can then return home with one child, leaving the other parent and child onsite.

clangermum Sat 30-Jul-11 21:50:15

I should add - the running around and shouting is fine in the day if they're playing, that would be a great release for them, it's when we're wanting to sit down and have a meal or get to sleep that I'd get stressed about it and probably be hypersensitive about neighbouring campers.

Cathycat Sat 30-Jul-11 22:36:33

Oh please try camping! Ds has asd and loves it, as he loves walks in the countryside! He is so contented when camping! We liked Park foot on Ullswater, Lake District the best. We had no electricity that year and preferred it to camping experiences with electricity, games, etc. I am not so good with your area but read UKcampsite website and the reviews may give you an idea. understand tutting parents concern. However, you may find that the active nature of camping helps with sleep. It certainly does with mine!

Starchart Sun 31-Jul-11 08:33:56

If there's a playground we camp right on top of it. Usually other peoPles children are squealing on it until at least 11pm on a busy site.

clangermum Sun 31-Jul-11 09:03:41

Thanks cathycat and starchart - the playground idea is a good one. And we'd probably be without electricity, but might hide a nintendo in the car for emergencies!

clangermum Sun 31-Jul-11 09:04:26

countdowntoxmas - have you made any plans?

countdowntoxmas Wed 03-Aug-11 11:47:01

Yes, we are off tomorrow to somewhere in the New Forest with a playground and clean facilities. Weather meant to be dreadful but it is an hour from home so delighted we can come home if need be!

clangermum Wed 03-Aug-11 14:45:03

Let me know how you get on - New Forest is on my 'hit list'!

Ineedalife Wed 03-Aug-11 14:57:03

Good luck, fingers crossed for the weather for

Dd3 absolutly loves camping, she goes to the playground and just ignores the other kids if they talk to her.

I would def take the nintendo, Dd3's is a godsend for her to have some downtime.

We hang her social story about shouting at people up in the tent, it does help her to not yell at us too loudly in the tent.

Believe me, there will be kids screaming just as loudly as yours when they have had a few late nights.

We do try to fit in a couple of sensible bedtimes while we are away.

Above all have fun and come home if it all gets too muchgrin.

countdowntoxmas Wed 10-Aug-11 11:20:43

We had a really lovely time. Went to Red Shoots near Linwood in the New Forest. We were in a paddock next to the main field which was fantastic. DS just loved it and amazingly the children were all in bed by 8pm both evenings. We took a boat to Hurst Castle which the children really loved. There was a pub next to the camp site and one ten minutes away with a great playground for the children. DH and I each took a child into our pod and DS loved it. The children also loved the free-roaming wild ponies.
The showers and toilets were really clean and even had underfloor heating so I was very happy indeed. Can highly recommend it.

clangermum Wed 10-Aug-11 12:18:42

Thanks for reporting back, and I'm really pleased you had a great time!

SusanneLinder Wed 10-Aug-11 12:29:57

I took my AS DD last week. No major problems, just that she doesn't always DO camping voices.......

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