Late summer is vacation time. Elaine Hall, an autism parent and a columnist for the Huffington Post, has some great tips for vacationing with a child on the spectrum.
I particularly liked her cautioning against allowing pride to undermine your ability to appreciate your vacation experiences. I have found that while traveling (and in general), when people understand our situation, they are usually inclined to try to help us out. Tell airlines that you will need some extra time boarding. When you enter an amusement park, visit the hospitality center upon entering and you will likely be given permission to avoid the long lines that form in front of the most popular rides (we had this experience at Sesame Place recently).
One piece of advice that I would add if appropriate to your situation: When staying at a hotel, try to recreate your child’s normal sleeping experience as much as possible. We often look for all-suites hotels with rooms that have at least one bedroom and a separate living area. (Depending on where you travel, these accommodations are not necessarily any more expensive than normal rooms.) When it is time to go to bed, MJ will go to his room (or a room that we share) and he will usually fall asleep easily. If he has to sleep on a pull-out couch in a main living area, he is much less likely to go quickly to sleep and much more likely to request our attention until late in the evening. This can make everyone a little cranky.
The Huffington Post column is a quick read and it’s worth the five minute investment if you pick up a single idea.