Guest Post by Ryan Comins One of my most memorable family vacations took place during the summer of 1997. My dad had just graduated from college with a bachelor degree, so he treated my mom, my brother, and I with a two week trip out west. We first drove out to my grandfather’s house in Illinois. After that, we went on to Iowa, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Minnesota, and Wisconsin before taking a ferry to Lake Michigan and driving back home. We saw many sites that I will never forget: the Badlands in South Dakota, Mount Rushmore, Old Faithful, and many more fond memories. While driving along a highway in Wyoming, we hit a deer as it slammed into the side of our car, sending the right side mirror sailing into a corn field. Being on the autism spectrum with a fascination for animals, I was more preoccupied with whether the deer had been hurt than by the near miss we had just experienced. Through some twist of fate, the people driving behind us stopped to see if we were alright. It turned out that they lived in the same town we did. Here we were in the middle of Wyoming talking with some people who lived across town from us in Michigan. The sky turned black while we were in a hotel in Minnesota as a tornado came within five miles of our hotel. That close call ramped up my anxiety. Before taking shelter on the part of the hotel, I remember standing outside as my dad called up to a guy on a nearby tower, asking him if he could see a funnel. As far as I can recall, the guy could not.accommodations for my autism spectrum disorder. The issues that I faced were related to my anxiety, during the tornado for example and my preoccupation with animals, which was shown by my reaction when we hit the deer. Also, I had a tendency to be in “my little world,” which was why my dad gave me a pep talk before getting out of the car for a picnic in the Big Horn Mountains in Wyoming. He told me that if he said so, we were to go back to the car and leave behind the food. He was worried about a bear coming up to our picnic and didn’t want my brother or me to get hurt. Thankfully, nothing happened, and we enjoyed our picnic without incident.
Margalit Sturm Francus
A reformed dentist who gave up pulling teeth to show her son the world! Need tips on how to #travel with #autism? Follow me on Instagram & Facebook