I'm seriously considering taking the children camping in the summer holidays. We can't afford a proper holiday this year (well, for the past 5 years actually but never mind)and I was looking at the tents in Tesco's. For £100 you get a family tent, four sleeping bags, a double inflatable mattress and two foam ones. Seems like a bargain! For just a few days we could survive on takeaways and sandwiches I'm sure.
There's a place we used to go to every year when I was a kid (we had our own caravan though)which was absolute heaven. I've been back since so I know it's just the same and I'm not looking through rose-coloured specs! I miss it like mad, especially when the weather starts to get nice and would LOVE for my kids to have the same experience.
Is it a bad idea with an autistic child? Has anyone ever taken their asd child camping? Is it illegal to tether a child to the back of a car?!!
Would you be able to go on the basis of having an escape plan? If it goes really badly, could you go home or could one of you go home with your child with ASD and the other stay with the other children? I know it wouldn't be ideal but best to think of worse case scenario. I would also go for a short time the first time. I know a couple of people who've gone camping with their children with ASD, one is very hf and no problem on this sort of trip, the other is quite hf (verbal) and his mum went along on a Cubs camping trip. You can get devices that warn you when a child goes past a certain point, mind you I think they cost about £100 too! Tethering is cheaper
I am a new convert to this camping lark and can see why you want to give it a try.
I think that you would have to pick your campsite with care. If your little one has sensory issues it might be best to pick a smaller, quieter site than an all singing/dancing site.
If you are worrying about them doing a runner in the night, you caould arange to ge sleeping across the door of the tent. many tents have inner 'bedrooms with zip up doors. I would have thought that by the time that was unzipped you would be wide awake and ready to play 'catch' IYSWIM.
We were at a large site in France a few years ago and a near by family had a child with autism. They all seemed to manage very well, but were in a caravan.
Could you borrow some kit in the fisrt instance and try out a local site. That way you will not be out of cash and could bail out if it all got too much.
We often go to camp sites with my ASD child, although admittingly we stay in a caravan, and he loves it.
The only problem that we encounter is in the evenings when we go along to see the entertainment. He always finds it stressful, and generally he ends up in tears. There are so many children running around, and with the loud music, I think he finds it hard to take it all in. We find that a quieter campsite always gets better results.
Ah well I was only thinking of a few days mid-week because ds has to work at the weekend. It's a lovely peaceful site in Somerset, no 'entertainment' to worry about. I was really concerned about the escaping issue but sleeping across the doorway is a good idea. The other thing is there is a stream with quite steep banks running through the site. All the kids play in it, make dams etc but it gets a bit deep in places. We will just have to be vigilant!
Getting keen now, I can almost taste that clotted cream!
Just to let you know we are now committed, for better or worse! Went to a camping exhibition and ended up buying a tent, sleeping bags, cooker etc. We bought the display tent because it was cheaper and ds loved it so much that he kept climbing inside when we were trying to dismantle it. Hope that's a good sign!
This afternoon I posted the deposit for the campsite. DD is very excited. Let's see if she's so keen when she's shared a sleeping compartment with ds for a couple of nights .