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Going on holiday(6 Posts)
Any tips on how to go on holiday and it be pleasant?
DD1 (nearly 6) has sensory processing difficulties and we are waiting on an ASD assessment through CAMHS. She finds change and transitions very challenging.
We tried a holiday home in Aviemore earlier in the year - again. Exact same house, exact same week as the last few years. Exact same plan for activities on the same days. She still found it all exceptionally hard. We did lots of prep with photos from the previous year.
We haven't gone away this summer. She has had chicken pox and starts primary school in August (Scotland) so things have already been challenging.
What do folk do for holidays?
We only go away for three or four nights. I find that is the most my ds can manage.
We go away around 4 times a year. 3 DC. One 14, autistic in special provision schooling, one 12 NT, one 7 current diagnosis social communication disorder but we fully expect an Autism diagnosis as she gets older.
Firstly I've finished grieving for holidays as they were pre DC. Now I accept that they require meticulous planning, have some fairly ridged requirements and I need to hitch up my big girl pants and tell people what we need. They are great family experiences.
We find half a mile down the road is as hard going as four nights in New York. Having accepted that the change will be a challenge its opened our eyes to some amazing breaks away.
We book well in advance. We tend to fly Easyjet as it's very formulaic, they have a fantastic disability team and allow early boarding, their hand luggage is generous so we can have all our stuff with us and no hanging around other side, any hanging around before take off and we have our world in a case so can get out comforters, games, snacks etc.
We book accomodation direct with owners using the likes of homeaway, airbnb, bungaloo. We book bigger than minimum requirements because we tend to spend quite a bit of time in our accomodation. We go for minimum of three beds as DS1 needs his own space, we like to have a lounge and formal dining space too as food is time consuming, a little complex and sometimes rather messy.
I tend to pack quite a few safe meals and snacks so whilst we add a choice of local ingredients there's always a familiar low pressure selection of foods on offer.
We take pillows for DD and DS1 and covers/ blanket for DS1 and a fleece blanket for DD.
We take toilet paper, lots of wipes etc.
It's lots of work but we make it work.
The DC get involved once we've booked in choosing what we'll do. We Google earth our accomodation and do a virtual tour before we arrive.
I wont say our holidays are meltdown free. We have had to get specialist travel insurance because I was concerned about having Ds's Autism named on the policy. We had a customs nightmare on our recent return from NewYork in Feb half term, they took DS1's laptop out of sight. It was an exceptionally hot day and the security area was in a cramped temporary area where we kept being buffeted whilst waiting.
I honestly thought DS1 wasn't going to be able to board the plane. I couldn't bend him into a waiting room seat for about an hour. We had to march endlessly muttering around the hot airport whilst DH stayed with the younger two. To top it all when we were finally safe on our overnight return flight BA didn't offer me a glass of wine. I have never needed a drink so much in my life. BA may never be forgiven!
We flew at Easter, Easyjet again, to Venice. Really smooth flights, lovely airport and a lovely break.
It's not that I'm a pro Easyjet person, its that they have a formula and they stick to it. The consistency works for us. We also love the likes of Ikea and dare I say McDonalds for food stops when travelling for the same reason. The DC make a game of spot the difference without it fully taking them out of their comfort zone.
We went to Ikea in Iceland (we've been on several trips) and the DC loved it. They served meatballs! We've been to McDonald's in as many European cities as we've visited. Often just for a bottle of water, free WiFi and use of toilets but it's like an oasis safe space in a busy place.
Well, we've tried twice over these holidays.
4 days in July. DD1 was non-verbal by the time we got back. I've never seen her like that before. She just hissed like an angry cat if anyone spoke to her.
Just tried again this week. 3 days. Got back this morning. She has had 4 meltdowns today including one that lasted 2 hours.
I can't fathom trying this again. I'm like a broken shell.
You’ve tried to make it work but it’s bloody hard work holidays.
I understand youre like a broken shell. It wasn’t ever meant to be like this.
But listen, it’s done and dusted and you’re home now.
When holidays weren’t working for us a couple of years back I came up a way of having a nice time at home by doing a more extravagant food shop, doing day trips in the car sometimes more for he drive and spending 10 mins when we got there but enduring a 60 minute Car journey because that’s all ds could stand.
Right now, don’t think about anything other then being kind to yourself. And telling yourself the holidays past and you did your best but now it’s done.
Big hand hold here. I’ve been there. X
She clearly simply prefers to be in the normal routine and disrupting that is hugely distressing.
It's hard to know how to balance her needs with DD2's. I worry about her feeling excluded if we try something without her (that DD2 would love).
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