Do, I feel organised? Hell yes.
It’s very rare that I’m able to be so prepared. Although booking holidays in advance when your child is on the autism spectrum is really an absolute must, things almost certainly never work out as planned for me.
Some may remember a few months back when I excitedly announced that we were chosen as one of 40 family’s to become a Butlins Ambassador. Well, I’ve been thinking about booking our break for a while but wanted to ensure I made the right resort, accommodation, and catering choices before doing so.
I’ve been given the opportunity to really plan this holiday around the whole families needs and this has allowed me to really step back and think things through when deciding on the best options for little man in particular.
Although we experienced quite a few hiccups during the Tots 100 Christmas party break at Butlins. I do put the majority of this down to the fact we got tickets so late on in the day. This combined with the fact that we wasn’t able to take the children to the actual bloggers meal and party was a bit stressful for little man and me having to dash away caused him some anxiety.
This break is a true family occasion and I won’t be doing any dashing of any sort whatsoever.
The fact that Butlins have a really scheduled time table that little man can follow is absolutely perfect. We found that just having the iPhone App that displayed the daily listings of what was happening at what times made organising what to do really easy. We actually got the app at least a week before leaving so had plenty of time to create little man his very own schedule.
I’m pleased that this year my mum and good family friend Donna will be joining us. This means that all the children can enjoy all aspects of the holiday and I won’t feel like I need to rip myself in half to please them all.
So, our break is booked for the Easter Holidays (1st-5th April 2013). We will be staying 4 nights and coming back home the day before my birthday. This should give me plenty of time to fully organise the trip and prepare the little man.
We are staying in the new Wave hotel at Bognor which is recommend more towards older children of both Alice’s and little man’s age. I’m hoping this will really suit him (they have ps3 in the games room so that should be a winner). Another great aspect is that they both each get their own TV at the end of their bunk (not that we are planning on watching a lot of tv) but what a way to avoid arguments.
I do feel really excited about our next break and have made it my mission to be as prepared as possible.
Here’s a couple of tips if your planning on taking a child away with autism or Aspergers during any of the pending half terms.
1) Book in advance to enable yourself time to plan efficiently.
2) Make sure the child on the spectrum knows when and where you are going.
3) Make an events board. I have done this simply by making a timeline that shows where we are going and in how many days. I do this with all events and occasions that little man needs to prepare for, not just holidays.
4) Try to use real life visuals for your events board. Take these from pictures or Brochures.
5) Let your child explore the designation online. Little man will be checking out the new Butlins website this evening.
6) if you have any worries or concerns make sure these have been discussed with the booking team or those taking care of your accommodation. This could be anything from the request of a room with a shower ( little man prefers to shower and its less of a battle for me to get him to use it) it may be something as simple as avoiding a certain room number (little for us massive to the child with autism).
7) Make sure you have brought and packed everything you need and well within time.
8) Importantly don’t forget any medications. Little man’s melatonin was something we took up again just before going away last time then we forgot to take it. Not great as it can’t be brought over the counter.
9) Pack essentials for travel. We normally go by car and a good supply of snacks and drink is a must.
10) Don’t just leave everything to the last minute! The child on the spectrum can become very anxious when this happens. Believe me… I know.
Heres a few images from our last trip away.
Little man Butlins
Alice and little man
Alice and the toddler