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Travel

"C'mon, Tyler! We're going to Idaho!"

No way to negotiate involving staying at home, minds were set, and we were on our way to Idaho to see my uncle and aunt.

Traveling is one of the biggest challenges relating to autism. One of the biggest reasons why is because traveling involves the one important key word that can be a challenge:

DIFFERENT!

  • Different place
  • Different people
  • Different location
  • Different experience
  • Different environment
  • Different way of going from place to place

May expect some chaotic moments when it involves travel. I know it was painful whenever I would travel. Couldn't even go to the city of Seattle; Which is one thirty minute boat trip away by the way.

That is why I have identify traveling as a skill.

The more you travel, the more you get better at it. It is very possible to become a master traveler, all there is is just some practice.

I could make it easy by saying keep on traveling, but I would also like to share some strategies that can help making traveling a lot more workable. Here are some suggestions that worked for me and hopefully may work for you too.

  • Headphones

May be a common suggestion, but what kind of headphones? To me, it can work both ways when they are noise blockers or regular headphones for music listening. Something to cover the ears is sort of like a portable decompression chamber being brought along; Even covering the ears activates the chamber for the person that feels like he or she needs it.

  • Schedule

Talk about what is going on in this trip. What to expect while traveling. Will there be loud noises? Who are we going to see? Is this place going to have a bathtub? I used to ask that a bit; It is like a reward after going through all of the craziness while going to the destination. Last hotel I went had a much better bathtub than my own. That would be my go to place. Just relax and read in silence.

  • Objects

Talk about some things that they might have that can be as beneficial to what you have at home. Like if you can bring a stuffed animal with you, or a blanket, or a game, or a movie; Something that you can either bring with you or expect it to already be there. As long as everyone knows what to expect during the travel, it can be easy to go through with everything during the journey.

  • Talk about favorite parts after traveling

Important to talk about something like this. Can encourage others to want to travel again and want to have similar experiences again.

Also, when traveling in an unfamiliar vehicle, try to find some tie ins that can be similar to previous ways of traveling.

Example, riding a train can be the same as riding on an airplane. The seats would feel the same when sitting on them, there may be a reading light, some areas may be a little bumpy, and the journey from one place to another may take just as long. By time, not distance. Going from Washington to Oregon by train can probably take as long as going from Washington to Montana by plane. The train can be very similar to riding a plane. Only main difference is you're on the ground, and you can see a whole lot of sweet vistas out of the window in ground level.

Communication and a few tools is key to traveling. Keep in communication before and after the trip; and then encourage to travel more. When children want to travel more, that is one gigantic breakthrough! Traveling is not easy; Even for people without autism at times. If you can master the art of traveling, you can put your mind to anything.

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