Monday, July 8, 2013

Vacationing with an ASD child

So, we are currently living it up and taking in the beautiful island of Hilton Head.  We are fortunate to live a mere 3.5 hours away so frequent trips are the norm.  There is nothing like the summer time crowd though, as it is filled with so much hustle and bustle and the sounds of laughter and excitement.  I love crowds and chaos so "in season" is ironically the most peaceful time for me.  Could this be from adapting to life with autism?  Probably.

We are a "go, go, go" type of family.  Two boys will do that to you and we NEVER adhere to a schedule.  We are literally making up the day as it goes which works for us.  While we haven't come close to completing our vacation I thought I would share a few things we have done so far to anyone who is thinking of heading this way for vacay.

Dining options are kind of limited unfortunately for ASD kids.  There aren't too many places that have "safe" foods although I do have to say I have started to see more gluten free options available.  However, vegan options are very scarce, so if you have a child like mine who is casein free, you will be hard pressed to find a lot of dessert options.  I have found however, gluten free only desserts at a few places, one being at The Quarterdeck in Harbour Town that looked delish!  Luckily there is a Publix nearby so I did my grocery shopping there and was able to buy plenty of food for Aidan in addition to the food I packed from home.  There is also a Piggly Wiggly right across the street, but options are extremely limited.

Finding activities isn't as hard as finding after dinner desserts though!  The beach is a great activity if your child is up to it.  We are on North Forest Beach, down two blocks from Coligny so while there is a good amount of people it isn't overwhelming and everyone is spread out pretty well.  I personally love this activity because both kids are wiped out by the time dinner comes and they both sleep like rocks. Score!

Today we went on a dolphin tour which was amazing!  The tour is 1.5 hours and while there are MANY tours in Hilton Head that do this, the one we chose was on a very large boat complete with restrooms, snacks, drinks and an inside cabin.  Many others that I looked at were on much smaller boats with no restroom;  a disaster for any parent with a child.  Here is a link  They offer many other cruises as well such as sunset cruises, a fireworks cruise and a children's cruise.  Here is a pic of the boys on board our dolphin cruise where we saw many dolphins swimming!  The captain was very calm and narrated the trip well.  There were no loud noises or over stimulation at all.  Very pleasant!

Miniature golf is also on our list along with a trip to Savannah (my favorite city) and an adventure in kayaking.  Will update on those places in a few days!

Much love...xoxo