Happy Holidays?

Posted on: March 15, 2012

We are going on Holiday soon – to a holiday park in Lincolnshire – part of me can’t wait to get away and the other part is dreading it.

How many people can say that about a holiday?

Well quite a lot actually – especially if your child has Autism.

The change can have an adverse affect, causing meltdowns, un-cooperation, upset & lots of distress. Some parents have to prepare their children for a holiday for weeks in advance with constant reminders and visual supports.
Most children can’t wait to go on holiday – a new place to play, make friends, go swimming, go on the beach etc – but for some autistic children its just another thing to become anxious about – something they don’t know, something they have no control over and the fact they have social and communication difficulties makes the above activities virtually impossible.

With A, he’s in the very early stages of PECS and if we show him visuals about holiday he wouldn’t have a clue what we where on about – its hard to prepare him for things such as a holiday – especially since he is non-verbal so we aren’t entirely sure if anything we are saying he is understanding.

We’ve been to this holiday park before and its difficult to take A to the entertainment and go for a meal etc most of our time is spent in the caravan – A likes it inside there, he can watch his favourite shows and explore without restrictions – its hard to do this outside as he’s no sense of danger so he’s restricted to his pram a lot of the time – and we must provide him with distractions to keep him happy. He loves feeding the ducks though, which is brilliant as they have a lake.

Going on holiday isn’t necessarily a break for us as it creates more work, making sure A is happy constantly through the day, but we do enjoy it and I really hope A does this time also – but we have to wait until the holidays over to be able to answer that question.

We are restricted to where we can go at the moment, I don’t like going to far with A in the likely event he may not settle and so we would need to come home. So going abroad sadly isn’t an option yet – the waiting at the airport, the plane journey, the heat etc would be to much for A, he would be over stimulated, agitated & scared. – maybe one day 🙂

Please as always comment below on your holiday experiences.

***I will be away between the dates of 23rd March – 30th March – so I am looking for guest bloggers, basically if your interested, contact me @ with an Autism related post that I will publish on one of those days & if you have a webpage/twitter/facebook I can include your details. I already have some people interested, and blogs ready, so please contact me ASAP***

L x


6 Responses to "Happy Holidays?"

Were jetting off in 3 weeks time.
At the moment M understands aeroplane , sand and water. I ve shown him loads of photos of the resort to prepare him, all the new clothes brought he helps put in suitcase. I also spoken to airline and we have priorty checking in an boarding to help reduce the stress of queues and crowds.
Hope you all have a fab time, and A is not too unsettled by it all . X

Hope you have a fab holiday! Sounds like you’re really organised for it, in terms of A!
Last year we took C for 4 days at Disney Land Paris and then toured through France up to Belgium – a total of 7 days! He was so excited about Disney LAnd and had been asking to go for so long, so we thought we would do it before the baby arrived and life got hectic again…
It was a total nightmare – why on earth we imagined he would cope with it…in hindsight we must have been mad. He went on 1 ride, but did enjoy watching everything else. Every meal time was a nightmare and every new morning in a different B&B was a meltdown. We realised just how much he had changed and what a big grip autism and adhd now had on his life – it had become much worse than last year!
We decided never again to go to Disney Land…it was horrible!! And never to attempt a touring holiday – no amount if preparation would ever improve that.
This year we don’t even want to go away, as his behaviour is so bad currently. But if we do it will be to a quiet cottage somewhere or maybe even a hotel with a pool – he is obsessed by swimming! It will be a complete contrast to the things his older sister would love to do – she enjoys discos and theme parks, but for everyone’s sanity we have to do something quieter and simpler. We have learnt the hard way, but still feel guilty about his sisters missing out on more fun things! Another impact of autism!

Have a brilliant time!


We are lucky, my mother-in-law has a static caravan we can use. M loves it there and has been all of his life. Its safe, familiar and quiet. Its the only place he has freedom and plays out. We’ve thought about trying other places or going abroad, but never braved it. M says the caravan is paradise, so we stick with his paradise, happy M makes it worth it.


My son went on holiday to Spain a couple of years ago. I couldn’t go, but my Wife, Daughter and Son ended up sleeping in the lobby of the resort for two nights as my son didn’t like the room that had been allocated for them. We did ask for the same room as the previous year and both the airline and resort said it wasn’t a problem, but clearly it was. He managed to stay for the11 days, but the worry for me still being in the UK and so far away was one of the worst things ever. Besides that, I can relate massively to a lot of what you’re saying on here although Autistic children do differ, so many things are still the same. I hope you all have a great holiday and thank you for making this blog with your own experiences 🙂

We’re going to a Butlins in June and i’ve been showing C lots of pictures and talking about it alot. He’s excited, but i can sense his aprehensiveness as every day he’s asking questions- often the same ones, of what we’re going to do there, what it will look like, what time things will happen. Ive told him we’ll take his “Now, Then, Later” folder with us and his timer and his nintendo DS and that has made him feel loads more secure. But as they say, the proof will be in the pudding!! Good luck! x

We make a book for Sean every year (small blank photo album and photos printed with words/sentences)
It includes how we are getting there, if we will need to stop for lunch, etc, who is going, as many photos of where we are staying as we can get (last year we phoned the cottage owners who took a photo of every room for us!!) and places we are going to go (takes a lot of forward planning and research!!)
We only stay in cottages/houses with enclosed gardens so Sean can let off steam and we don’t have to go out everyday if we don’t want to!!
Holiday parks are pretty much a no no for us as Sean needs an enclosed space outside to play in, and he’d hate the general busy atmosphere all the time. As he’s getting older he’s becoming more vulnerable too so I like to keep him where I can see him!!
We take a mountain of toys with us, last year we were lucky that the cottage we chose had a box of brio train set – he loved it!!!
We also take plates, cutlery, cups, etc, oh the list just goes on!!!!! I think we may need one of those roof boxes soon!!

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