Have autism? Will travel!
Five reasons why families with autism should take on adventure, together!
By Margalit Sturm Francus – Travel advisor to autism support nonprofit Generation Rescue
1. Transitions of travel
your child with autism to new situations and environments can help him
or her to acquire much needed life skills. Children with autism
sometimes struggle with transitions and changes in their routines. This
is, of course, the essence of travel. Becoming more tolerant of new
things and developing tools to overcome potential meltdowns are
beneficial in everyday life, as well.
2. Learn by doing
can complement the information that your child is learning about in
school. Children with autism typically learn more effectively by
exploring with their senses than they do from reading books. Take your
child to historical sites, zoos, hands-on museums, or ethnic
restaurants, so he or she can absorb even more about topics introduced
in a school setting.
3. Family bonding
life is hectic for most families, and is especially so for families on
the spectrum. Running around between doctor appointments, therapy
sessions and after-school activities hardly leaves enough time for
homework, let alone downtime for family bonding. Travel provides a great
opportunity for quality time to get to know your child and to talk to
him or her without being rushed. It also create priceless memories, as
you share in new experiences together.
4. Coping skills
Travel can help everyone in the family – parents, children with autism and their
siblings – face and cope with strangers’ (sometimes nasty) reactions
and responses to autistic behaviors. Many parents admit that they dread
being stared at, pointed to, or even berated when their children act
unpredictably in public. Because of this, parents often take their kids
out as little as possible. Ironically, the more frequent the exposure to
the public’s (sometimes painful) comments and reactions, the better you
learn as an individual and as a family to deal with them in a calm,
5. Raise autism awareness
traveling with your child with special needs, you will inadvertently
help others around you understand the many different facets and
challenges of autism. Currently, 1 in 88 children is diagnosed with
autism. That’s more than the number of children diagnosed with cancer,
diabetes, Downs Syndrome and AIDS combined. A more knowledgeable,
tolerant and understanding society is a very good thing, as the autism