What is a good vacation for an Aspie?

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twinplets
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31 Jul 2011, 1:59 pm

I agree that the answer could be different depending on the kid. My kid hates to feel left out and loves to do everything. We just have to plan and do more work for it to go off better. We went to Disney 2 years ago when my son was 7 1/2. It was one of our best vacations and no one can wait to go back. I did buy a book, hit the DIS forums and make a comprehensive touring plan for our family. Basically, I researched the heck out of it to make sure we could hit the fewest hick-ups as possible. Then I try to not get myself too worked up if we have to adjust the plan I worked so hard on. :) I think that is necessary no matter what the trip is for us. It is a lot of work for me and I think my family takes it for granted how much effort I put into our trips, but the times when I haven't, I am the one that has paid the most, so it works well for me.

I agree with having more room. We are a large family anyway, so we can't fit into a small room, but I am sold on renting condos or vacation homes. We had a 3 bedroom townhouse when we stayed at Disney last time. Sure, we had to drive into Disney, but the kids don't know any different and we loved having a kitchen and room to spread out. We are planning another trip for next summer as the kids want to go to Harry Potter now and we are again staying in a very nice townhouse in the Windsor Hills area. It is much more cost efficient too.

Getting his input would help too. That way he is more in control and has buy in and a reason to put up with things that might not be ideal if he really wants to do it.



javabuz
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31 Jul 2011, 2:15 pm

The funny thing about Disney is that we know it really well, been there a dozen times. Not since he was 4 though. Even with all our knowledge and planning there were a few Aspie things I just could never have accounted for like:

--the smells. certain places in the park, we just could not go because he was too oversensitive to the smell there for whatever reason
--hand dryers: the stupid new more powerful ones make him TERRIFIED of certain bathrooms
--heat: they had record heat that week. Even with drinks, ice cream, spray fans, etc. It just didn't help
--ride break downs: We had 2 different rides break down while we were on or in line for them. This threw off his "plan" and he melted down that we couldn't finish these rides, it threw off the routine.

lastly, as with many issues we discuss here I struggle with how to do things my NT kids love without catering to just the wants/needs of my AS kid. My other 2 kids LOVE Disney, is it fair to them to never return because he hates it? Is it fair to them to be dragged to museums (they hate he loves) because there is more peace there? More a balance issue than anything, but as you all know, always a struggle.



Mummy_of_Peanut
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01 Aug 2011, 3:58 am

We've just returned from holiday. We spent a week in a caravan park in Wales followed by a week on a farm in Ireland. The caravan park was great as it wasn't crowded and it's not 'in your face' family entertainment all day and night. They have a sports programme and a few activities in the evening for an hour or so, both of which you can take or leave. We spent the days touring around and came back in time for a swim. The farm was perfect. Our daughter loves animals and she got to help the farmer at feeding times. She had a great time, but her sleep pattern was awful. We gave up trying to get her to go to bed and she napped in the car each day. I'd really recommend this type of holiday. A theme park holiday is my idea of hell. We went to Drayton Manor in England earlier this year, just to go to Thomasland. It was expensive, noisy, crowded, smelly and exhausting.



teximomma
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01 Aug 2011, 9:02 am

When we went to DisneyWorld in 2007, my son was 9, and I can say it was a mixed bag. He did NOT fare well with the hot temperature (July) that made him tic and he was frustrated, also it was a wide open space and lots of people. Where he did do well were rides that went inside and were cool and dark. Like someone said earlier, "we did not get our money's worth", but what we did get was a valuable lesson learned. He also does very well when we go to the beach every summer. It may be hot inland, but not as much at the shore. He loves water, jumping the waves and boogieboarding. This one also has a mixed bag if you will, he can not stand sand on his feet and hands, but I tell him sometimes we have to put up with something we do not care for in order to have the fun. He will bring a bucket of water up to where we are sitting and dip his feet and hands in it.



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01 Aug 2011, 11:11 am

Kailuamom wrote:
I think doing Disney with Ridemax will get you double the value in 1/2 the time! We have gone to DL in peak season without Ridemax and gone on like two rides in eight hours. With Ridemax, in peak season we finish all of our must do rides by 11:00. The rest of the day is just spent using fast passes at our lesiure. we go on all of the must dos as many times as we want.

This has been the greatest facilitator of my as pie loving DL. prior to Ridemax, it was multiple meltdowns. Ridemax really changed everything for us!


Yes, Ridemax is amazing! We too, hit every ride on our list before 11am, and moving briskly around the park with a very structured plan distracted all of us from unpleasant sensory input, and kept us ahead of the crowds. I am sooooo excited abut our upcoming trip, and purchased a year's subscription to Ridemax just so I can have fun playing around with it. Our dates aren't even available yet, but I just love making those plans!

javabuz wrote:
The funny thing about Disney is that we know it really well, been there a dozen times. Not since he was 4 though. Even with all our knowledge and planning there were a few Aspie things I just could never have accounted for like:

--the smells. certain places in the park, we just could not go because he was too oversensitive to the smell there for whatever reason
--hand dryers: the stupid new more powerful ones make him TERRIFIED of certain bathrooms
--heat: they had record heat that week. Even with drinks, ice cream, spray fans, etc. It just didn't help
--ride break downs: We had 2 different rides break down while we were on or in line for them. This threw off his "plan" and he melted down that we couldn't finish these rides, it threw off the routine.

lastly, as with many issues we discuss here I struggle with how to do things my NT kids love without catering to just the wants/needs of my AS kid. My other 2 kids LOVE Disney, is it fair to them to never return because he hates it? Is it fair to them to be dragged to museums (they hate he loves) because there is more peace there? More a balance issue than anything, but as you all know, always a struggle.


It would be really hard trying to strike a balance. I guess we are lucky that both our boys are Aspies with similar needs and interests, and DH and I are more Aspie than NT as well, so we mostly just need one plan to suit us all. Do you have a partner to split up the kids and follow different plans suited to their individual interests?
I am not remembering how old your son was when you first visited Disney, but I know that my sons could not have tolerated it before 8yo or so, and at 11yo now are so much more flexible and resilient than they were then. Maybe if you wait until your son is older he will be better able to tolerate the sensory onslaught of Disney so your other kids can enjoy it again...or not. This would really depend on the individual kid.
We have also experienced some of the specific issues you mentioned. For smells it can help to have a smell he likes available, like a lemon wedge or coffee beans in a ziploc in his pocket, that he can smell to block out a smell he hates. It may help him feel more in control of his olfactory environment. Those turbo hand dryers are AWFUL! Like a jet engine taking off. Our strategy for those is to do your business and high tail it out of the bathroom quick as you can, and then use antibacterial hand wipes to "wash" your hands when you're out. But yes, no matter how many plans and strategies you have there will always be something unexpected that takes him and you by surprise. Vacations are not easy times for people who thrive on familiarity and routine. I find I put in 10 times as much work on vacation as I do at home, not to mention all the meticulous pre-planning. This is part of why we do stay-cations frequently and a "big" vacation only once every few years.



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01 Aug 2011, 11:28 am

I think separate vacations for the kids separate interests are needed sometimes. It definitely gets in the way of the "family vacation" idea, but practicality trumps.

We did one family vacation where everyone got one important yes, and had to tolerate each others yesses. We went to Cancun, my yes was snorkeling the barrier reef in Cozumel, DH and DS #1, was suing and climbing the Mayan ruins and DS#2 (aspie) was going to a spider monkey rescue habitat where he could be with the monkeys.

Because we all got what we wanted, we were much more capable of handling the others yesses.

This summer, we are doing the Daycamp for one and the other is at a video game conference in Vegas right now. Wouldn't be fair to force either to go to the one they aren't interested in.



aspie48
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05 Aug 2011, 5:58 pm

nature holidays are good. i went to dolly sods in west va and loved it i also went to the rockies and olympic peninsula mountains. i would say any place that is not crowded is good.



Artros
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06 Aug 2011, 2:52 am

Musea and nature vacations are my personal favourites. It helps that my parents and sister also like these things, though my sister sometimes tires of the musea. Splitting up the vacation into various days with different activities each day might help, similar to the way Kailuamom did her vacation in Cancun. We went to Canada a couple of years ago and I don't think I will ever have a better vacation in my life. Beautiful hiking in peaceful and calm environments, good food and even fun cities (I don't like cities, but even I liked our stay in Vancouver).

When we were in the US, we visited Disneyland. I remember it well because it was a tad disappointing. Admittedly, we went during peak season and it was a hot day, but it was just so unbelievably busy. I would definitely agree that you can't go during peak season and that, if possible, you should try to avoid hot days (hotness was always a major issue for me, though, but I'm not sure if your kid is like that as well).


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06 Aug 2011, 12:49 pm

rent a cabin as far up in the mountains as you are comfortable with. don't bring noise with you (atv's, etc).



billygamer331
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12 Aug 2019, 8:03 pm

Any why would they need a different vaccine from everybody else



Aspie1
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14 Aug 2019, 5:59 am

billygamer331 wrote:
Any why would they need a different vaccine from everybody else
The word in the title was "vacation", not "vaccine".

There's one type of vacation that I found unexpectedly aspie-friendly: a cruise. It was action-packed and fun, with things to do, friendly people to meet, and alcohol to drink. Most importantly, the movement of the ship was very soothing; it rocked me to sleep in less than 5 minutes, while it usually takes me about 30 minutes to fall asleep. The whole time, I was happy as a clam. There were frequent crowds, noise, and chaos, but none of it fazed me. Of course, I went on a cruise as an adult. Who knows how I'd have reacted to it as a kid.

When I was a kid, the family vacations usually consisted of staying at a lake house they rented from someone they knew. I liked it mostly because the house has a dog living in the yard; the owner gave my parents a deep discount in exchange for taking care of him. It was as close as I ever came to having a dog, and he liked me. During the day, it was cool: swimming in the lake, picking wild berries in the woods, playing with the dog, etc. Evenings were usually boring. My parents sometimes played a board game with me, other times I just read books or drew, or got punished for some trumped-up infraction. (which was fun for my parents, but not for me)



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14 Aug 2019, 9:25 pm

billygamer331 wrote:
Any why would they need a different vaccine from everybody else


Aside from wondering why you drummed up an 8 year old post to make this misspelled comment, I will answer that ASD children tend to have sensory issues that can make a lot of the more traditional ideas of family fun stressful for them. Stressful equals no fun for anyone. The OP explained the reason for asking quite well, actually.


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Jon81
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19 Aug 2019, 3:49 am

:lol: I think it was funny. I started reading from the start and noticed the thread goes back to 2011 and was thinking there would be some kind of follow up on the subject. Very unexpected bump :lol:


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