Autism is a developmental disability and the person affected with this disease experiences their surroundings differently from an average person. And hence, for someone afflicted with this illness, routine and structure is absolutely essential. Travel or a vacation, thus becomes a bit of a hassle. But, if handled ideally, the family vacation will be an amazing experience.
1) Plan together
The most important thing is to tell the child about traveling and about the places you are going to be. Watch movies of the places you would like to go to, read from books about the place, show pictures of where you would be staying. Once the child is impressed, plan your itinerary in such a way that ensures that you get a lot of time to be together.
2) Travelling on a plane
The long wait at the counters could be taxing for the child. Try to inform the airline staff in advance about the child's condition. The boredom on the flights could pose another issue. Pack things such as coloring books, games, or your child's favourtie DVDs. Keep a candy or gum ready, the pressure drop in the cabin during take off and touch down could baffle the child.
3) Safety concerns
While at a new place, ensure that the child is with you always. It is normal for children with autism to get lost in a new place. It would be wise if you left an identity card, with all updated telephone numbers in the child's pocket.
4) Down time
While travelling with an autistic child, make sure that you pack in a lot of down time. Limit the number of things you do while on vacation. Give the child enough attention and care so that he is comfortable in a new place.