Readiness is all.

There’s a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. If it be not now, yet it will come—the readiness is all.

–          William Shakespeare, Hamlet

What Hamlet means is that what is going to happen will happen and all you can do is prepare for it. As parents of 2 autistic children men and my wife have learnt that being prepared can make the difference between near disaster and working well. One could say that our travels and adventures with our autistic children require certain amounts of Crisis Management in order to add some resilience in our group against situations that is new for our children.

We put a lot of time into preparing for longer trips by talking about the trip to our children. We are quite picky about hotel and destination so that we get accommodation that works with the needs of our children. We arrange the traveling in advance so that no decisions need to be taken between home and hotel. Food is an important thing to figure out, often we have a backup plan by checking out McDonalds in advance or by keeping a stash of snacks at the hotel room and we prepare small signs in the language of the destination that tells about our children’s autism and show these signs in restaurants and hotels just to explain in advance if one of those chaotic situations occur.

These preparations primarily serves to give us, the parents, the feeling that we have the situation under control and when we are calm the chance for the trip to become a success instead of a chaotic trip increases drastically. But in the end I think it’s our knowledge about our children and our own strengths and weaknesses that allows us to act rapidly and with determination when unplanned situations surprise us.

So, in short, our success when traveling with our autistic children is built on trust in ourselves, a strategy for potentially chaotic situations that you have identified and a focus on the need and abilities of the children during the planning of the trip.

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