“We usually rent beach houses because people have complained in the past about Will’s noises, jumping, etc.We’ve become experts in finding beach houses that happen to be on a secluded beach, and we are often the only ones there.” [caption id="attachment_10085" align="aligncenter" width="640"] photo credit Ester Fillon Baker[/caption] My name is Esther Fillon-Baker, and I am a marriage, family and child therapist. Our son, Will is ten years old. He’s always been a very loving child. In fact, his first word was “hug”! Will is in no way considered “high functioning.” His autism is very obvious to all, but by surrounding him with lots of love and affection, security and familiar objects, he’s OK. As parents, we have followed Will’s lead when it comes to education. He tends to focus on one skill at a time, so whatever he is showing interest in, we use that as our open door and use that interest as our tool to teach him new skills.
We have always traveled extensively with Will. He has been on more airplanes than most adults, and nobody has ever suspected that he is autistic!
We create a social story for him, so he knows what to expect during the day, go over it several times, and then bring it with us while we travel to reference. We find that structure plus preferred, familiar objects is comforting! We usually rent beach houses because people have complained in the past about Will’s noises, jumping, etc.We’ve become experts in finding beach houses that happen to be on a secluded beach, and we are often the only ones there. Yes. I got pictures of that. Will can stim away, and no one is there to care.Will does his best in Hawaii – the energy there seems to calm him. He is less rigid; his body is more relaxed than usual and more likely to try new things. I always plan ahead for his meals since he is a very picky eater. Like most kids, Will eats pizza often, so I bring my own pizza maker, pan, slicer even a familiar plate with me when we travel. It takes a lot of anxiety out of getting him to eat in unfamiliar surroundings.Our favorite place to travel with the boys is Oahu, the North Shore specifically because we can find a beach house where we are on an uncrowded often empty beach in an oceanfront home. Some houses with trees have hung swings on the tree branches so that you can swing on a tree on the beach!
The picture I sent was taken at a local shopping center on the North Shore of Oahu. This image was taken on Christmas Day, 2010.Will is the older one to the right, and little brother to the left is Wesley. Like you, we are also very interested in traveling with ASD kids and travel more than anyone we know.There is no greater education than travel, and this is why it is so important.]]>