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going on holiday with an autistic child

(24 Posts)
12345678910 Sun 04-May-08 12:26:12

after a lomg struggle we finally have got a diagnosis for our daughter, and yes its autism, my thoughts all along.
not severe, but there.

can anyone give me any advise on flying issues, the noise etc.

is there any point me phoning the airline ?

what games etc would u take and how about medicines is there any medicine that gp can give to make them sleep or calm?

any advice would be great

sarah293 Sun 04-May-08 12:52:12

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12345678910 Sun 04-May-08 12:56:19

riven, does ds1 have severe autism, i know they say there is no such thing as a mild term for autism, but she doesnt mind leaving the house, so i hope and pray she is ok the holiday was booked way before we got a diagnosis.

PipinJo Sun 04-May-08 13:35:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

yurt1 Sun 04-May-08 14:08:31

We've never flown with ds1 (severely autistic age 9) as he can't queue at all and i he didn't like it (no idea whether he would or woudln't) chances are he'd refuse to get on the plane to come home.

We've taken ferries etc and the biggest problem as always, is waiting. We just try and take the biggest distractor (apples at the moment).

TotalChaos Sun 04-May-08 14:13:22

if your DD enjoys TV/DVDs then a portable DVD player could come in very handy. I think you can use them on board when the seat belt signs aren't on. medised might be of use (would definitely do a dry run first if you've never used it).

drowninginlaundry Sun 04-May-08 15:39:40

portable DVD player
you can get priority check-in (airports have special needs desks) if you wave his medical papers so avoid queues, call in advance
lots of props

sarah293 Sun 04-May-08 17:37:32

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fannysparkle Sun 04-May-08 20:07:48

You can take portable dvd on plane i did it last yr with DS and he was fine. It was the hotel that i had probs as he was everywhere and i was shattered all day. Will book a cottage/villa from now on, home from home is only option for us. I guess it depends on what problems your dd has. Good luck.

mymatemax Sun 04-May-08 20:57:54

We have flown with ds2 tbh he hated it but he was very noise sensitive at the time.
We ask to board last as it reduces the amount of time sitting, we were also able to take his major buggy right up to the aircraft.

The actual holiday was OK, we took lots of familiar things & he wasn't too bad at all.

If you think the flight may be problematic then you can ask your GP for Phenegran or something similar.

staryeyed Sun 04-May-08 21:42:59

We are taking Ds ASD (3) to Turkey at the end of this month, going against the advice you all gave blush. We are quite lucky in that Ds is open to new experiences and will probably find it quite exciting. We will deal with whatever comes when it comes. The thing that Im a bit worried about the sound sensitivity my Ds only has it for certain frequencies though.

Some good tips here that I will be using.

LeonieD Mon 05-May-08 07:40:50

Message withdrawn

yurt1 Mon 05-May-08 17:40:52

He may well like it stareyeyed. DS1 likes traveling, loved the recent trip to Ireland - it;s just the queuing/waiting that we really don't think he could deal with (most children aren't as bad as him though).

He used to not sleep/eat when away (excitement) except in campervans, but does now.

sarah573 Mon 05-May-08 21:51:37

DS1 (9) has HFA/AS. He's flow on holiday several times with no major problems.

He has an obsession with planes at the moment anyway which I guess helps. He spends the whole time before take off spotting makes/models of planes. He's also facinated with plane crashes (which isn't so great), but seems to look at this as facts and figures, rather than worrying that this will happen to him. I once caught him explaining to a man (who had the misfortune to sit next to him) that the Boeing 737 had a history of explosive decompressions to the hold, but we would be ok as we were nearner the front of the plane....I jumped in at this point and saved the poor chap!

He is also very sensitive to noise, usually low pitches, but doesn't seem to be bothered by the engine noise. He's bad with crowds but we avoid these by getting a priority pass (usually about #3 each with budget airlines - special needs or no special needs), or waiting for the queue to go down by boarding later when we have allocated seats.

Food onboard was a problem, as his diet consists of jam sandwhich, shreaded wheat and bananna nesquik (with a liberal helping of vitamin pills to prevent scurvey), and BA had none of these grin, so if your DD is a picky eater a packed lunch may be adviseable.

He does struggle while we are away with the change of routine, and his behaviour worsens as a result of this. I try to find him a space in the hotel room that can be 'his' so that he can have some timeout if he needs it. I also find it beneficial to let him have half an hour alone each day (either safely in his room while we are just outside, or on the hotels internet etc) to give him some chill out time to re-charge.

All in all he does very well. He's been to Egypt (twice), morocco, malta, and has gained a huge amount from it. We're off to tunisia later this month.

catok Mon 05-May-08 21:55:07

DS (Asperger's) copes ok with loads of distractors - food, games, etc. Tried Phenergan last long journey (if you haven't used it before try beforehand)because instead of calming him down he was high as a kite! Not funny in motorway services.
Will your DD wear headphones? His choice of music/stories on mp3 player helps DS.
Saying that, we've not tried flying, and this half term will be the first time to anywhere other than in-laws.
Good luck!

time4me Mon 05-May-08 22:03:04

Keep the structure as close as you can at home and one of you be prepared to be the carer,take it in turns.
I would never go away with my ds again after he lay down in the street in Padstow while the 4x4s drove around him.He was violent the whole time,but with planning and a wheelchair and favourite videos might try it,POSSIBLY.

pagwatch Tue 06-May-08 17:44:08

all sedatives, including phenergan, make my DS absoloutely high as a kite too.
He is very ASD but we started him flying @ about four and he is a fantastic flyer ( and generally a holiday boy)
My top tips are for him but may apply

a visual schedule of the holiday for his bag so he knows exactly what day we fly, how long we stay etc

DVD player with headphones - fantastic

window seat as this helps him undewrstand what is happening.

letting him (but with huge amount of help) pack his own hand lugage so he can decide what fav things he wants to take

pack fav snacks/treats for flights and for hoilday

I used to take freezer bags each with a different activity in for the flight but he doesn't need that now. His fav were ELC tubes of play dough with shapes
small jigsaws
small dot to dots and colouring books
flick flak books
i just used to give him one and a time and rotate through so he didn't get bored.
I'll try and remember some more....

silverfrog Tue 06-May-08 20:40:48

we went on holiday last month with dd1 (3.7, ASD) and dd2 (14 months). We had a 10 hour flight, away for 1 days.

Things we did which seemed to help:

bought dd1 her own suitcase (a trunki one) which she fell in love with (has never liked ride-on stuff before, so god knows why this was ok) and we packed it with her toys/books for the journey. We bought board book versions of some of her favourites as easier to handle in a constricted space (I also made a reduced, laminated version of one that I couldn't get in board book)

took enough food and snacks for the trip (and then some - dds are GF/CF so runningout was not an option). Also managed to take some drinks on board - we got a letter form our doctor stating medical need for the food/drink in case there was a problem at security, but we got through ok.

we flew business class, which worked well for us as lots of space for the dds to stretch out in, but not always an option (thank god for air miles - we upgraded using ours).

we told everyone we came across that dd1 was autistic, and staff were all very happy to help. do call the airline and talk to them; also check airline website, and airport website too.

If your dd watches dvds etc, I'd say a portable dvd is a must.

we booked self-catering, as needed to control food input. we found an all-suites hotel, so had 2 bedrooms and a kitchen & sitting room. this meant we could keep meals as similar to at home as possible (meal times are a big thing for dd1)

we tried as far as possible to keep the general structure of the day as similar to home, and food as close as possible to what she ate at home, and it worked for us. dd1 was a complete star all through the holiday, and even enjoyed some new things.

onlyjoking9329 Tue 06-May-08 21:45:44

we have 3 kids with autism and they have been abroad 10 times now, the only thing that causes any problems are the toilets as the flush is so loud i wait till the kids are out of the loo then i flush it, other than that no major problems

magso Tue 06-May-08 22:55:34

We took our son(learning disabilities, hyperactive, autistic traits) on a longish flight when he was just 5. I was very worried as I was afraid of a flightlong meltdown, but actually it wasn't that bad. Planes were (are) one of his interests/obsessions which helped - he had been taken to watch planes from quite young, so was used to the noise. We took his own headphones (also help shut out noise) for the seat back tv - but would now take a portable dvd machine. Prepacked toys and games, (for the flight and waiting) drinks (and his usual cup) and food. The best unexpected things were prebooking child meals (so he got served first and things he could mostly enjoy like a finger roll, coctail sausages, cut fruit, little cakes) and the child backpack which had plane pictures and models inside! Ds liked the little meal trays. We had lots of trots up and down. Ds was put in a pullup for the flight - since he was still at the not able to wait stage of training. Good luck!

suzybabes Wed 20-Jul-11 17:19:42

my child has autisim and we are flying soon, he also has asthma so we have to take food as he has a fobia about smells and taste that determins what he eats plus nebulizers pumps and meds with us , this all adds up to more weight in our cases does anyone know does the airline make a special allowance for this we are flying with easyjet would be greatful for any advice

MugglesandLuna Wed 20-Jul-11 17:32:35

Easyjet should have a special assistance line - I would give them a call to see if they will let you take these things on under the disability policy. It maybe more difficult because they are 'low cost', but its worth a call.


Subject to security measures in place from time to time, you are permitted to carry small portable items of medical equipment and or medical supplies which are necessary for the Journey you have booked. Proof of need and itemisation of items must also be supplied by your doctor. In addition, you must provide confirmation that you are medically fit to fly. Any medical equipment or supplies must be packed separately to your normal hold baggage. Wherever possible, you should keep your medication in your hand baggage and carry extra supplies in case of disruption.

suzybabes Wed 20-Jul-11 17:40:49

thanks mugglesandluna for your quick responce i emailed eastjet a few days ago but got no reply yet, just wondered if anyone else had heard of this my sister met people in spain and they got free baggage because of all the extra equipment thay needed for their child.

MugglesandLuna Wed 20-Jul-11 18:09:58

We are flying with Thomson in three weeks and they have said we can take 2 pieces of mobility equiptment.

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