So... I've said in the past, and its what this blog is about. We believe, that is me, my wife and family, that a diagnosis of autism should not stop you doing the things you want to do as a family. We try very hard to ease little Mr. into doing things - gently does it.
Over the past 2.5 years since his diagnosis, and even before, we have had lots of fun. We've done many things. The one thing we have not done for the last 3 (will be 4) years though is going on a plane on a holiday abroad. The reason is something I will come to 🙂
So, it's not that he has never been on a plane. Our first holiday away with his, he was 8 months. With our daughter, we had that worry of doing it with a baby, but with little Mr. being our second, that fear was gone. So, at 8 months he went to a fantastic resort in Majorca.
This was also the last holiday we could do during school term as my daughter started reception in the September that year. Considering she is in Year 4 now. That's gone quick.
That was a fantastic holiday, and to be honest he did what any 8 months old did. Sleep during the day and didn't like the travel cot he had on the night - lucky the pushchair we had went right down so he slept lots in that. That was an amazing pushchair - with going right back, leg rest up and was like a mini bed.
The following year, when he was 18 months old, we did our second holiday away. This one was during school holidays so nice and expensive. That said, we had a great time. There was a down point where, we all caught a bug going around the resort - not just the hotel. We all got through it and as was last few days of a 10-day break it was fine.
This was also the last break where we flew.
Well, the year after our last holiday we found it quite expensive. So, that was our first year visiting Butlins. We did 3 visits that year which was fantastic. This would have been the year that he was diagnosed also.
The following year, so last year, we did book a holiday abroad, a break to go away in the May to Majorca. However, we found over time that he had issues with smaller spaces. He would have small meltdowns. In Bournemouth, we have an airplane museum, a place you can see and go inside planes. they had a fuselage from a passenger plan - so we thought we would see what the was like.
As we feared, he hated it. We started to desensitize him, but it came to a point of no return - in that we either canceled and just lost the deposit or we lose a lot more. We decided, he wasn't ready and so we canceled.
We ended up going to Butlins 5 times last year. We also decided to get all the changes through this year and not throw in another. We knew that school was coming and so we decided to stay in the UK.
So, the one things about us not challenging him in taking him is that he doesn't experience what it would be like abroad - now that he understands more. It has also meant that our daughter has had to miss out on something she loves. She loves the plane and going abroad.
So... today we did it. We paid the deposit to go away the end of August next year. We booked it for the very last week of August, we come back the Sunday before they go back to school on Monday. We thought it would give us enough time to prepare him, and us.
It's also about pushing to enjoy the fun things. It's about, what I and this blog stand for. Living life as much as you can regardless of the diagnosis. It's all about preparation. Its all about support. Hopefully, it will be all about the fun times we will have. In the meantime, its lots of visits to the air museum to get some experience of the space in there. Another year older may also be the key, at least we hope so.
I look forward, next August, to blogging from our hotel in Spain. I will, possibly, also blog about how we are going through preparations to this challenge of a holiday abroad next year.
Have you ever done anything that has proven to be challenging? If so, why not leave us a post below telling us what it was and how you achieve it.