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Emu Egg
Emu Egg

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Joined: 26 Jul 2011
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27 Jul 2011, 6:21 am

My daughter is 17 and has Aspergers. She suffers from anxiety which has prevented us from going on holiday for years. We are going abroad this year and she seems quite excited but is getting anxious about the plane and the apartment. I really want her to be able to do this and enjoy it. Any help tips?

Snowy Owl
Snowy Owl

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Joined: 8 May 2011
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27 Jul 2011, 6:42 am

Preperation and more preperation.. lol I am sooo like this and it drives my hubby crazy. I do have fun while were on holiday but it really racks my nerves to do it and I am always ready to be back home after a few days.

But here are some things that I do that make it workable.

- Lists.. have packing lists made well in advance. She should make a check off list of everything she needs to take including a bag for the flight. The flight bag should include some things like a book, music, something for motion sickness, gum for ears popping, snacks, etc.

-- Pack well in advance so there is time to double and triple check that everything is packed. She will be more anxious if she is worried she has forgotten something important due to rushing the packing process.

-- I like taking all of my own toiletries so that my shower is at least pretty much the same and I smell the same as I'm used too. LOL Also she may want to take her own pillow from home for a little extra 'comfort'

-- Have a definite 'plan' for the departure day. We get up up at .. we will be have breakfast at .. we leave for the airport at.. Knowing what to expect will help and try to be ahead of schedule and not rushed. Rushing and running behind will send anxiety through the roof very quickly.

-- If there is an itinerary get her a copy of that. Give her a copy of things like where the hotel is, what the name of it is, the phone number there, what do if separated from you, etc, how to get a cab, how to call for help, .. I am usually unreasonable worried about being separated from the person who has all the information so it helps me to have a copy of stuff so I feel like it anything happens I can get where I'm supposed to be. Although I have never needed it, it gives me a sense of security.

-- give her things to do and keep her busy preparing. Have her plan some activities or places she wants to go. Distractions are wonderful.

-- And do not give up or cancel anything. Be understanding if she is nervous or even decides she doesnt want to go but ultimately keep pushing forward. She will have fun. There will be anxiety. The fun will be worth the anxiety so do not let her give into it. Just keep telling her that you understand how she feels but it will be worth it and she just has to take a deep breath do something relaxing and push through it. It will be fine once she is there and busy and settled in.


Michelle K. - OCD, undiagnosed Aspergers
Mom to Jordan age 10 - Sensory Integration Disorder, undiagnosed Aspergers, Diabetes, JRA


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Joined: 1 Mar 2006
Age: 63
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27 Jul 2011, 11:11 am

Really, get tons of information about the place you are going. If you can, Google map it and look at the streets on streetview so that she has some landmarks that will be familiar - neat thing on streetview is that you can virtually "walk" down the streets. .... Really, as the other poster wrote, knowing what to expect is very important. First we'll do this, then we'll go here, this is how we'll get there, this is what being on a plane is like, etc., etc.


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Joined: 9 Aug 2010
Age: 43
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Location: Ontario, Canada

27 Jul 2011, 4:17 pm

A few possibilities:

Do everything you can to speed up boarding the flight: many airports have online check in now.

Bring her favourite snack/sandwich on the plane (no fruits. they don't let you bring fruits).

Have pillow or teddybear or barbie or plastic troll - something from her bedroom - in her pocket. When you get to the hotel, let her give it a special spot in the hotel room. (last poster had same general idea with the shampoos, I'm just "OddFiction-izing" it :P )

SOME link to one of her special interests might be handy. If she loves books, bring a good book, or promise to get one as soon as you get to the airport book store.

Set a "goal" for each stop along the way: We're going to get in the car, and go to the airport, and do all sorts of lineups until we can get to the bookstore. When we land in [mexico] we're going to find a donut shop. Then we're going to find the hotel and hang up our towels in the bathroom... Stupid little things, but it gives a focus, and a feeling of stability/security each time you "arrive" at the goal. A pause in the chaos that feels like "okay I can breathe now".

If there's time the morning of the trip, go out and buy a new pair of shoes or something for the trip to distract from all the packing and crazy that has filled the house for the last week.

When you arrive, play "I spy" on the way to the hotel - Look for things that are familiar; a mcdonalds, a yellow awning, anything that has some resemblance to home.

** Have candies and warn about ears popping and how the candy will help relieve it **