• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”
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Autism and Vacations

Myrtle Beach SkywheelHow do you feel about vacations and travel?

I know that for many autistic people the change in route that travel requires wreaks havoc. But for me, I look forward to vacations every year. In fact, I feel like it is the only time I get beyond the walls that confine me in my home and out into the world. Our vacation adventures are extremely important to me.

There are loads of places that I know that I can visit(for example, the Crowne Plaza Chicago West Loop). For me it’s exciting, it’s an adventure, it gets me out of the house.

The problem is that I can obsess about where to go, then what to do when we get there for months beforehand. I tried to explain to my husband last year, when planning our Disney vacation, that the “planning” part is most of the fun for me. I love to plan out our time, our activities, our days. Unfortunately, I tend not to plan in any time to relax. After all, if I want to relax, I would just stay home.

Since I have always been crazy about our family vacations, my children are fairly mellow on vacation. I think it may have something to do with my over-planning. There is always a schedule with planned activites that we go by. This, by the way, drives my husband insane. I suppose all my schedules and plan would be a good thing if I didn’t get completely emotional and depressed if we get off schedule. I guess I make vacationing work for him, but the rest of the Aspie family enjoys it.

This year I am finding myself depressed and unmotivated. Maybe it is because last year we went to Disney (more on that in a separate post), and Universal Studios and everything else just seems dull in comparison. The budget is tighter this year, and so is our time requiring us to have to stay close to home…meaning within the state of South Carolina. To me this is depressing. I want to get away, far, far away…

I don’t know if nothing compares or if nothing seems appealing this year because I am more tired. Being pregnant and sick all the time is not helping with my motivation either. Maybe I am just over thinking this…knowing me, I am definitely over-thinking it.

I originally planned to take the boys down to the beach this weekend (the weather has been beautiful), but of course now the forecast is for chillier days so that has me down. I was going to take them to the amusement park but if I am not feeling better walking around the park all day is going to make me miserable–so I was going to cancel the whole idea, except I can’t. So, we will likely be spending three days chilling (literally on a chilly beach) with the boys, but at least they have a heated indoor pool. My boys are fish incognito.

Usually if the boys have a pool to swim in they are happy, I am the one looking for more activities. What do all your kids like to do on vacation? Do you all like to schedule in plenty of activities or try to take it easy and relax (something I can’t manage–ever)?

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.