Utter Autism

August 18, 2007

The Airplane

The first time we travelled with Adrian on the plane we weren’t sure what to expect from him.  Like travelling with an infant, there’s a degree of unpredictablility.  Adrian was about 5 years old and we were headed to Disney World for our first family trip. 

Preparedness is my middle name (my husband sometimes thinks it’s Overpreparedness).   We purchased a portable DVD player for Adrian since he liked to watch movies.  We had a huge stock pile of candies, snacks and drinks.  We planned to sit Adrian and hubby behind the girls and I incase he kicked the seats.  I packed some of his favorite books, some small toys and activities.  We took a direct flight out of an airport a few hours away to cut down on travel time.  We taught Adrian signs related to our trip like airplane, ride, train and boat. We talked with him ahead of time about what would happen and showed him pictures and videos of Disney World.  In short, we did everything we could to make the trip go smoothly.

And it did, for the most part.  He was a bit loud occasionally but nothing terrible.  Each trip since has been just as good.  Adrian now knows the airplane takes him to a place he loves so he happily boards.  There’s been incidents along the way – one bathroom incident my husband still can’t talk about other than to say that years later he still hasn’t recovered fully from it.  We’ve dealt with brief tantrums occasionally.  We’ve replaced the DVD player with an MP3 player and cut down on the extra snacks, drinks and clothes we need to take.

Right now, ‘airplane’ is the most used word/button on his device.  He knows that’s the first step in getting to Disney.

1 Comment »

  1. Nice post! My mother just got back from Disney and said that she stuck up for a child on the plane who was a bit loud and had autism. I really like how you balance being prepared and stepping out in this post.

    Comment by alltogether — August 26, 2007 @ 10:46 pm

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