Jump to content


What's with the ads?

Photo

Vacations with support available?


26 replies to this topic

What's with the ads?

#1 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:25 PM

Hi there, I'm thinking that I would like to attempt some sort of family vacation this summer. Would anyone have any idea where I could look for something (anything) that has some kind of aide support or really any kind help available to children with autism? I have heard of autism on the seas for cruises, but I think I'd like to start with something a little more simple and work our way up. Has anyone ever heard of any programs or anything like what I am looking for? We are in the north east and plan to drive this time around. Thanks! 



#2 insertcreativenamehere

insertcreativenamehere

    Hive Mind Queen Bee

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 780 posts

Posted 11 January 2017 - 03:33 PM

We have a child with Down syndrome and through our state's Medicaid program, we are eligible for PCA (personal care attendant) hours and before that, we were eligible for home nursing hours. We mostly use those hours so that I can teach our other children or take them to their various activities, but it is totally possible for us to take a PCA on a trip and pay them. I think they can only work up to 8 hours a day and we'd have to provide their lodging and meals. If your child is certified disabled by the Social Security Administration, you may be eligible for similar services through your state. 


  • OhElizabeth and Artichoke like this

#3 bdjjmj

bdjjmj

    Hive Mind Larvae

  • Members
  • 31 posts

Posted 11 January 2017 - 04:09 PM

I know there are many camps for special needs families. We are in maine and there are a couple here. The only one I know the name of that is national is a Christian program from Joni and friends. I am sure if you google special needs family camps you can find others in the northeast. Just a though if a camping experience would be of interest.http://www.joniandfr...amily-retreats/
  • OhElizabeth likes this

#4 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30341 posts

Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:38 AM

There are mother's helper companies that will provide a worker to help you at Disney. And Disney also has the DAS (disability access service) pass to help with waiting in lines. And if you want a break to go out with your dh you can hire a fairy godmother to come to the resort/hotel room to stay with them. And is a pretty safe place where someone is going to return your kids and help you if they leave you.

 

Obviously you have the flipside, like lots of sensory, etc. However supposedly it works. We're going and we're psyched. How old are your kids? I got overwhelmed with the thought of ds there when he was 3, but his behavior was incredibly challenging. If you have some ABA going for 6-9 months while you plan your vacation, that might be enough of a foundation that you're in a better place to go.

 

Personally, while I would LOVE to take a cruise (it's my not so secret dream!), i'm not sure if I could take my ds. He's a climber, and I just can't ensure he would be safe. I would want a room with a balcony, and even with him 8 years old I can't ensure he'd be safe. Maybe at like 12. Actually, my only theory at this point is to see if my mother could watch him at our house and we just go. Unfortunately, on their last visit it became apparent that they're getting just old enough and slowing down just enough (66-70) that they can't handle him like that, even at our house. Like I knew they might struggle at their house and that him staying at their house wasn't going to work. But now I see he couldn't stay with them at our house either. 

 

We do have some friends who are younger who can handle him for a while, but that would be a lot of work for them to handle him for several days for a cruise. And really, my fears are seriously real on this. Like I go through scenarios like what it will be like when I jump because if my kid goes over I'm not staying on the boat. There are Disney cruises, and I'm sure they take a lot more precautions. You could ask on the Autism Loves Disney facebook group and see what they say. To me, some of the canned care (rooms where you drop them off and the staff feeds them and plays) might be really challenging for my ds. I've been looking into them for our trip, because we don't think my father, who's going with us, can watch him. The drop off paid care places are cute, but they rely on imaginary play and typical play. My kid uses parts of things, not the whole, and I just think he'd stand there and not really get it. And they have to self-advocate too, like saying they need to go to the bathroom. It's just things you think about, like can your dc function well there, kwim?

 

If you want to practice, IKEA has drop-off staffed play areas. Not quite the same, but a way to practice and see what behaviors happen. Any excuse to go to IKEA. :D


Edited by OhElizabeth, 12 January 2017 - 09:40 AM.


#5 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30341 posts

Posted 12 January 2017 - 09:45 AM

Extra Hands | Babysitting, Resort and Theme Park Child Care

 

Here's the link to the place. I found it on the disboards. My personal opinion is minimum one-on-one with disability people. Well that's just our group. My dad is disabled and my ds has his disabilities, and I've just pretty much said neither dh nor I are going to be in a position where we're having to handle both people by ourselves. Like just don't do that to yourself. Set some ground rules and budget to make it happen. 

 

I don't think a dh and mom should both be that on all the time. Men get worn out and can't handle being on so much. Ok that's biased, I'm just saying in OUR house, our family, that wouldn't go well to expect dh to be on ALL the time. And while the in-park was money, it wasn't THAT bad, iirc. And they could make so many things go better. Bathrooms, lines, breaks, meltdowns, stimming, eating, cleaning up, trash, etc. 


Edited by OhElizabeth, 12 January 2017 - 09:45 AM.


#6 Lecka

Lecka

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4681 posts

Posted 12 January 2017 - 12:32 PM

I have help from my mom and sister for these trips, but for us personally we have had some very successful trips to Great Wolf Lodge.

My son LOVES water. He is more sensory seeking and less sensory defensive -- bc it can be loud with a lot of water noise.

In GWL the lines are short, usually there is something with a very short line.

Transitions are very minimal, it is an elevator ride from swimming to the room.

The first time we went, my son did not have a good understanding of standing in line or of recognizing cues that it was his turn. The lifeguard was giving a thumbs up or nodding his head. We worked on that so much!!!!!! It was that way at an open gym at a gymnastics place too, so it was useful for that, too.

Then we went back and they had a chain, and were lifting a chain up and down for kids to go.

It might take one person to wait in line with him, and one person to wait for him at the bottom, sometimes. But (on one of the first trips) after a few times he could wait at the bottom for me, so I could wait in line with him and then meet him at the bottom, and nobody needed to wait with him at the bottom.

But I had my mom and sister helping me a lot.

And he would go back to the room for 2-3 hours in the afternoon and watch dvds on a player we brought (so he could have some favorites) and my step-dad could watch him then. We also kept familiar food in the room.

But I would have a lot of help. But the limited transitions and easy ability for my son to have a long break was very needed.

He can need quiet time without my other kids around (this is 100 times less as he is older now) and so it was easy to not have to take everybody back to a hotel, but I wouldn't want my step-dad to be far if my son started to be difficult.

Now he is 8 and it doesn't feel like it is the only place we can easily go. From about age 4 to 7 it didn't seem like much else would work out. Bc new things and transitions just were not a good thing for him. (We went on a week-long trip in there and it did work out but was Very Hard on me... it was a trip my mom really wanted and I had a lot of help, but it was Very Hard on me. My son did do well with A LOT of support.)

Bc of the new things and transitions issues -- doing something he loves and with less transitions helps. Also after we went the first time, he knew what it would be like, so it wasn't new like it would be if we went to a different place (still there would be new things bc he would be able to go on different slides).

For example for transitions, when he was 4 or 5 we went to a zoo, and we were in one part, and we needed to walk along a paved area to a different section. Well ---- that was a really hard transition for him, he was crying and crying. Then we got to the next section and he liked it. But it was like saying hello and goodbye to go between different sections.

At our local zoo he never did this, but he had been before so he already knew what it was like, so it was easier for him.

Zoos are another good thing for him, and after that time, he knew about going between sections and it was not as hard on him at all.

But it took me by surprise at that time bc I didn't see it coming, I thought it would be a lot smoother and easier for him.

On other trips that are not day trips.... I have to plan for my son to be able to stay in the (KOA cabin we stay in bc they are easier for him than hotel rooms). My step-dad will stay with him, and he needs some quiet time with my other kids not there.

So my step-dad will stay with him afternoons as needed, and then trade out with me or my sister for things he wants to do.

But even this summer at age 8 and doing wonderful, my son had an awesome day at the Omaha Zoo, then a second day at a museum and out to eat for lunch... and the 3rd day he was done and he stayed in the cabin and hung out with my step-dad and watched videos. He got a lot of good family time with my nieces etc. and did s'mores etc. and did great, but he was not going anywhere in the day.

So my step-dad is a really nice person and my sister is, too. And my sister's husband and kids are very gracious.

Anyway -- that is us :)

Edit: my husband has had to work in Kentucky for most of the summer the past few years, or he has been deployed, so I have done things with my sister or my mom or both of them.

Edited by Lecka, 12 January 2017 - 12:36 PM.

  • OhElizabeth likes this

#7 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:09 PM

We have a child with Down syndrome and through our state's Medicaid program, we are eligible for PCA (personal care attendant) hours and before that, we were eligible for home nursing hours. We mostly use those hours so that I can teach our other children or take them to their various activities, but it is totally possible for us to take a PCA on a trip and pay them. I think they can only work up to 8 hours a day and we'd have to provide their lodging and meals. If your child is certified disabled by the Social Security Administration, you may be eligible for similar services through your state. 

 

Thanks, we get some respite care, but it's not really enough to apply to a trip. I've thought about paying someone out of pocket, but I think it would probably cost more than it's worth. 



#8 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:10 PM

I know there are many camps for special needs families. We are in maine and there are a couple here. The only one I know the name of that is national is a Christian program from Joni and friends. I am sure if you google special needs family camps you can find others in the northeast. Just a though if a camping experience would be of interest.http://www.joniandfr...amily-retreats/

 

Thank you! I have actually heard of this, I'm going to look into it more. It looks like they have some locations within driving distance. 



#9 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:17 PM

There are mother's helper companies that will provide a worker to help you at Disney. And Disney also has the DAS (disability access service) pass to help with waiting in lines. And if you want a break to go out with your dh you can hire a fairy godmother to come to the resort/hotel room to stay with them. And is a pretty safe place where someone is going to return your kids and help you if they leave you.

 

Obviously you have the flipside, like lots of sensory, etc. However supposedly it works. We're going and we're psyched. How old are your kids? I got overwhelmed with the thought of ds there when he was 3, but his behavior was incredibly challenging. If you have some ABA going for 6-9 months while you plan your vacation, that might be enough of a foundation that you're in a better place to go.

 

Personally, while I would LOVE to take a cruise (it's my not so secret dream!), i'm not sure if I could take my ds. He's a climber, and I just can't ensure he would be safe. I would want a room with a balcony, and even with him 8 years old I can't ensure he'd be safe. Maybe at like 12. Actually, my only theory at this point is to see if my mother could watch him at our house and we just go. Unfortunately, on their last visit it became apparent that they're getting just old enough and slowing down just enough (66-70) that they can't handle him like that, even at our house. Like I knew they might struggle at their house and that him staying at their house wasn't going to work. But now I see he couldn't stay with them at our house either. 

 

We do have some friends who are younger who can handle him for a while, but that would be a lot of work for them to handle him for several days for a cruise. And really, my fears are seriously real on this. Like I go through scenarios like what it will be like when I jump because if my kid goes over I'm not staying on the boat. There are Disney cruises, and I'm sure they take a lot more precautions. You could ask on the Autism Loves Disney facebook group and see what they say. To me, some of the canned care (rooms where you drop them off and the staff feeds them and plays) might be really challenging for my ds. I've been looking into them for our trip, because we don't think my father, who's going with us, can watch him. The drop off paid care places are cute, but they rely on imaginary play and typical play. My kid uses parts of things, not the whole, and I just think he'd stand there and not really get it. And they have to self-advocate too, like saying they need to go to the bathroom. It's just things you think about, like can your dc function well there, kwim?

 

If you want to practice, IKEA has drop-off staffed play areas. Not quite the same, but a way to practice and see what behaviors happen. Any excuse to go to IKEA. :D

 

It wouldn't be practice, going to IKEA would be a vacation for me LOL, I love it there. I'm so not ready for Disney, but we will probably go when the boys are older. I can honestly say that this is the first time someone has suggested hiring a fairy godmother as a serious answer to a question lol. 


  • OhElizabeth likes this

#10 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:25 PM

I have help from my mom and sister for these trips, but for us personally we have had some very successful trips to Great Wolf Lodge.

My son LOVES water. He is more sensory seeking and less sensory defensive -- bc it can be loud with a lot of water noise.

In GWL the lines are short, usually there is something with a very short line.

Transitions are very minimal, it is an elevator ride from swimming to the room.

The first time we went, my son did not have a good understanding of standing in line or of recognizing cues that it was his turn. The lifeguard was giving a thumbs up or nodding his head. We worked on that so much!!!!!! It was that way at an open gym at a gymnastics place too, so it was useful for that, too.

Then we went back and they had a chain, and were lifting a chain up and down for kids to go.

It might take one person to wait in line with him, and one person to wait for him at the bottom, sometimes. But (on one of the first trips) after a few times he could wait at the bottom for me, so I could wait in line with him and then meet him at the bottom, and nobody needed to wait with him at the bottom.

But I had my mom and sister helping me a lot.

And he would go back to the room for 2-3 hours in the afternoon and watch dvds on a player we brought (so he could have some favorites) and my step-dad could watch him then. We also kept familiar food in the room.

But I would have a lot of help. But the limited transitions and easy ability for my son to have a long break was very needed.

He can need quiet time without my other kids around (this is 100 times less as he is older now) and so it was easy to not have to take everybody back to a hotel, but I wouldn't want my step-dad to be far if my son started to be difficult.

Now he is 8 and it doesn't feel like it is the only place we can easily go. From about age 4 to 7 it didn't seem like much else would work out. Bc new things and transitions just were not a good thing for him. (We went on a week-long trip in there and it did work out but was Very Hard on me... it was a trip my mom really wanted and I had a lot of help, but it was Very Hard on me. My son did do well with A LOT of support.)

Bc of the new things and transitions issues -- doing something he loves and with less transitions helps. Also after we went the first time, he knew what it would be like, so it wasn't new like it would be if we went to a different place (still there would be new things bc he would be able to go on different slides).

 

 

I was actually thinking about going to a Great Wolf Lodge before even reading your post. I was thinking that not having to leave the resort would make things much more manageable. Looks kind of pricey though. 



#11 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:27 PM

We're thinking about renting an RV - that way we can have a little home base with us wherever we decide to go. Still not sure where to actually bring the thing though. 



#12 Lecka

Lecka

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4681 posts

Posted 13 January 2017 - 08:48 PM

We have stayed in cabins in a KOA campground twice. They also have hookups for RVs.

You would be looking at campgrounds with RVs in general, I think.

My husband's friend has a... camper trailer (not sure of the word) and he pays $200/month (on a loan) and they can go stay at a state park and fish every weekend. It is only a few dollars to have a camper site at a state park with hook-ups, and it can be easier to get a spot, and easier to drive.

I would rather have that, but for us if we are going to go stay in a cabin every 1-2 years, it doesn't make sense. If we wanted to go several weekends in the spring, summer, and fall then it would make more sense.

Right now we don't have a vehicle to haul a camper but my husband wants a pick-up sometime.

#13 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30341 posts

Posted 13 January 2017 - 11:10 PM

We're thinking about renting an RV - that way we can have a little home base with us wherever we decide to go. Still not sure where to actually bring the thing though. 

 

Ooo, we did this! We flew to Alaska and rented an RV for two weeks. It was AMAZING. We have friends who did the same thing, flying and renting, but they did Arizona. 

 

I think anywhere you like would work. Make sure you look at the RV configurations so the child safety seat will be installed facing the screen/tv. That way they can have videos. Ds was 2 at the time, so that kept him busy. But yeah, an RV in general is great! Are your kids generally good in the car?

 

Ok, this is summer. What region of the US? Or you want to go up to Canada? Now the nifty thing about Alaska is you can boondock and park almost anywhere. I don't know where you can do that in the lower 48. If you post a thread on the chat board and give some parameters (places to RV with kids in the summer in the midwest or southwest or whatever, what you like to do, etc), people would give you great ideas. It's a seriously great idea. 


Edited by OhElizabeth, 13 January 2017 - 11:11 PM.


#14 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30341 posts

Posted 13 January 2017 - 11:12 PM

Totally different idea. Are you military? There's an org that will help military rent condos and things in Florida. Like you can get a condo for $300 for a week! It would give you that stable place, then you could putt putt, do Legoland, etc. Your kids are young enough that Legoland might be really fun.  

 



#15 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 15 January 2017 - 07:48 PM

We have stayed in cabins in a KOA campground twice. They also have hookups for RVs.

You would be looking at campgrounds with RVs in general, I think.

My husband's friend has a... camper trailer (not sure of the word) and he pays $200/month (on a loan) and they can go stay at a state park and fish every weekend. It is only a few dollars to have a camper site at a state park with hook-ups, and it can be easier to get a spot, and easier to drive.

I would rather have that, but for us if we are going to go stay in a cabin every 1-2 years, it doesn't make sense. If we wanted to go several weekends in the spring, summer, and fall then it would make more sense.

Right now we don't have a vehicle to haul a camper but my husband wants a pick-up sometime.

 

We stayed in a cabin a few years ago. It was okay. The bathroom was kind of gross, so that turned me off to it I think (I have OCD so I can't deal with a gross bathroom.) We were actually seriously considering purchasing a trailer, but then we found out that our Jeep can only haul 3500 lbs. which would mean that we would likely have to purchase a larger tow vehicle, and the whole idea just started to sound way too complicated. 



#16 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:01 PM

Ooo, we did this! We flew to Alaska and rented an RV for two weeks. It was AMAZING. We have friends who did the same thing, flying and renting, but they did Arizona. 

 

I think anywhere you like would work. Make sure you look at the RV configurations so the child safety seat will be installed facing the screen/tv. That way they can have videos. Ds was 2 at the time, so that kept him busy. But yeah, an RV in general is great! Are your kids generally good in the car?

 

Ok, this is summer. What region of the US? Or you want to go up to Canada? Now the nifty thing about Alaska is you can boondock and park almost anywhere. I don't know where you can do that in the lower 48. If you post a thread on the chat board and give some parameters (places to RV with kids in the summer in the midwest or southwest or whatever, what you like to do, etc), people would give you great ideas. It's a seriously great idea. 

 

I'm so happy to hear that you've done this with success! I'm impressed by the general affordability of the idea too, especially considering how well it might work for our family. We're in upstate NY, and we're going to try to stay in the general region and do a "trial run" of something simple this summer, that way if it's a disaster we can just cut it short and go home without too much of a headache or loss. I'm thinking maybe Lake George or Letchworth State Park. Maybe Niagara Falls. Something that isn't too over stimulating. 



#17 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:02 PM

Totally different idea. Are you military? There's an org that will help military rent condos and things in Florida. Like you can get a condo for $300 for a week! It would give you that stable place, then you could putt putt, do Legoland, etc. Your kids are young enough that Legoland might be really fun.  

 

No, we're not military, but that sounds amazing for those who are! 



#18 Harriet Vane

Harriet Vane

    Qualified Bee Keeper

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12170 posts

Posted 15 January 2017 - 08:51 PM

Joni and Friends runs wonderful family camps each summer. Each family is assigned 1-2 helpers who can help as much or as little as the family desires. They take training seriously and they are very, very careful to match volunteers with families according to need and the skill set of the volunteer.



#19 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30341 posts

Posted 15 January 2017 - 10:41 PM

I'm so happy to hear that you've done this with success! I'm impressed by the general affordability of the idea too, especially considering how well it might work for our family. We're in upstate NY, and we're going to try to stay in the general region and do a "trial run" of something simple this summer, that way if it's a disaster we can just cut it short and go home without too much of a headache or loss. I'm thinking maybe Lake George or Letchworth State Park. Maybe Niagara Falls. Something that isn't too over stimulating. 

 

Hmm, we went up to Niagara and did some more things in NY (FingerLakes, Corning, some kind of canyon, St. Lawrence Seaway, etc.). While it was wonderful, I don't know, wouldn't be my top hit for an RV. The roads and driving there were insane, and an RV is a pain to drive. I drove the RV in Alaska a little, and my dh can drive stuff like that fine. Just wouldn't do it in NY, just me. And actually I'm just trying to think where it would be fun, with the things we did. Ds was so little, we just strapped him in a stroller the whole time. Niagara isn't really little kid friendly. My kid needs open spaces to run, lol.

 

Now the St. Lawrence Seaway was cool. There is this boat you can ride up and down to tour the castles. Boats are very calming. Ds was ok on that. And there's a fort (british?) somewhere, either by the SLS or up by Niagara, can't remember. It had big open spaces and a slow pace. We went to a lighthouse with a tank outside, but he liked the grass better than anything inside. There's an power station with some interactive exhibits. But Corning, well there's a lot of glass to break, lol.

 

You know what's way cool? Kentucky. I guess that's a haul for you, just saying KY is pretty cool. The zoo is amazing and the caverns are fabulous. We did this one in Louisville where you rode around in a vehicle. I think it was a quarry. And there's an amazing, amazing park in Louisville. Like if you could get tickets, fly in, do Louisville for a few days, leave. But that's the kind of stuff I look for, open spaces to run, things that are calm, things that have space. Ds and I walked the river and ate at Joe's Crab Shack or some such thing. 

 

A lot of what we did in NY was like cliffs, edges, dangerous stuff. There probably are some flat, safer spots, lol. 

 

Fwiw, one of our ABA workers was just saying she'd go with us any time on vacation if we needed help, hehe. But I think that's cuz we're going to Disney (for an Orlando wedding, my big excuse finally) and she wants to go back. And really, if someone isn't prepared to handle those behaviors, having them along is actually MORE stressful. Like if my mother is here or my father, they can't handle that stress of a meltdown with him. So it's kind of tricky. And even just the things it takes when he's headed toward one and you're being firm and calm, even that is hard for people to deal with. 

 

There were some caves in NY. We didn't get to go to them, but we always like to see caverns and whatnot when we travel. My ds does great in them. They're quiet, not stimulating. I don't know, they just work pretty well. And sometimes caverns will have cheesy extras like panning for gold or paths to walk or this or that. That's the stuff I do with him when my support is low and I'm by myself. Anything calm, anything where he can get out and run. Like if you want to RV around NY, make your itinerary based on the campgrounds you'll be going to. Find things you know that work and only hit normal tourist attractions if they happen to line up. Like you'd rather have a couple nights at a state park with things that go well (fishing, trails to walk, whatever) or a campground that goes well (swimming, etc.) than to try to do Niagara but be stuck in the city with no where to burn off steam and lots of traffic and cliffs and stress.



#20 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30341 posts

Posted 15 January 2017 - 10:44 PM

Adding: my kid is a climber. Like he's in gymnastics, because he's a climber. So when I sound stressed about all the cliffs, well we strapped him in for a reason, lol. He never left the stroller at Niagara. I take that back, I think dh held him during the fireworks. The rest of the time, strapped down. And we're talking like a 5 point harness strap on the stroller, lol. We did NY for an anniversary trip (with our kids along), so weren't trying to be too kid-friendly on that one. We did things we wanted and just sorta kept them safe. Like we did a hot air balloon ride over some waterfalls, etc. It was all lovely, but not very kid-friendly.



#21 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30341 posts

Posted 15 January 2017 - 10:49 PM

If you just fly somewhere with a beach, how will he do? We have friends who went to (insert name of islands with sand) a few years ago and are going back. They made it sound like you could find affordable tickets to fly there, pick sort of a less popular island, and just sorta hang on the beach and wander and snorkel and do quiet things. That would be super easy with our kids. Water, sand, that's all great sensory, very calming. Like whatever they do well with, maybe do a little more of. I think (hope!) ds will do well with Disney, but it's because he's a huge, huge sensory seeker. For him, to go ride rides is super insanely good. First ride on his priority list? Tower of Terror, lol. He's a nut. If I could take him to Universal, I would. He's just too short to ride the rides he would want, so we'll wait another year or two. 

 

If you find a state park that rents pontoons, that could be really lovely. You could park your RV, do activities, rent a pontoon, fish, swim... Boats are very calming for my ds.



#22 Lecka

Lecka

    Hive Mind Level 6 Worker: Scout Bee

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4681 posts

Posted 16 January 2017 - 11:36 AM

My husband wouldn't want to deal with an RV and probably wouldn't want to deal with a trailer, so it is not likely for us.

We can deal with more as far as bathrooms, too.

When we have stayed at campgrounds, the RVs seem really cool!!!!!

#23 OhElizabeth

OhElizabeth

    Beekeeping Professor

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 30341 posts

Posted 17 January 2017 - 12:18 PM

What you might do, if you're actually interested in the RV thing, is look at rental places and see the layouts. Like there are really small ones, and really huge ones! And when I say I didn't really want to drive it myself, that was a 30' RV, kwim? Like seriously, it was big. The thing could sleep like 1k people and hold football parties. (not really)

 

Your kids are little? My grandparents had this smaller RV, sort of an overgrown van, wouldn't be much harder to drive than a van, and it didn't have a dedicated bedroom area. The dining converted to a bed at night and was the sofa as well. So no sofa, no separate bed. And the loft above the driver area was fabulous for kids to sleep. 

 

If you can find something kinda small like that, you might find it very manageable! Small is a good way to start. We went big, but we knew we were going a long way with a lot of stuff and for a long time (2 weeks). 

 

Floorplans & Photo Tours – Great Alaskan Holidays - RV Rental Vacations & Sales This may be the place we used, can't remember. They show a 22' as the smallest they offer.



#24 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 20 January 2017 - 04:47 PM

Joni and Friends runs wonderful family camps each summer. Each family is assigned 1-2 helpers who can help as much or as little as the family desires. They take training seriously and they are very, very careful to match volunteers with families according to need and the skill set of the volunteer.

 

Thank you, I'm going to look into this - it looks like the weeks that we have available are already booked up for this year, but I seriously might consider registering for next year. 



#25 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 20 January 2017 - 04:58 PM

Hmm, we went up to Niagara and did some more things in NY (FingerLakes, Corning, some kind of canyon, St. Lawrence Seaway, etc.). While it was wonderful, I don't know, wouldn't be my top hit for an RV. The roads and driving there were insane, and an RV is a pain to drive. I drove the RV in Alaska a little, and my dh can drive stuff like that fine. Just wouldn't do it in NY, just me. And actually I'm just trying to think where it would be fun, with the things we did. Ds was so little, we just strapped him in a stroller the whole time. Niagara isn't really little kid friendly. My kid needs open spaces to run, lol.

 

Now the St. Lawrence Seaway was cool. There is this boat you can ride up and down to tour the castles. Boats are very calming. Ds was ok on that. And there's a fort (british?) somewhere, either by the SLS or up by Niagara, can't remember. It had big open spaces and a slow pace. We went to a lighthouse with a tank outside, but he liked the grass better than anything inside. There's an power station with some interactive exhibits. But Corning, well there's a lot of glass to break, lol.

 

You know what's way cool? Kentucky. I guess that's a haul for you, just saying KY is pretty cool. The zoo is amazing and the caverns are fabulous. We did this one in Louisville where you rode around in a vehicle. I think it was a quarry. And there's an amazing, amazing park in Louisville. Like if you could get tickets, fly in, do Louisville for a few days, leave. But that's the kind of stuff I look for, open spaces to run, things that are calm, things that have space. Ds and I walked the river and ate at Joe's Crab Shack or some such thing. 

 

A lot of what we did in NY was like cliffs, edges, dangerous stuff. There probably are some flat, safer spots, lol. 

 

Fwiw, one of our ABA workers was just saying she'd go with us any time on vacation if we needed help, hehe. But I think that's cuz we're going to Disney (for an Orlando wedding, my big excuse finally) and she wants to go back. And really, if someone isn't prepared to handle those behaviors, having them along is actually MORE stressful. Like if my mother is here or my father, they can't handle that stress of a meltdown with him. So it's kind of tricky. And even just the things it takes when he's headed toward one and you're being firm and calm, even that is hard for people to deal with. 

 

There were some caves in NY. We didn't get to go to them, but we always like to see caverns and whatnot when we travel. My ds does great in them. They're quiet, not stimulating. I don't know, they just work pretty well. And sometimes caverns will have cheesy extras like panning for gold or paths to walk or this or that. That's the stuff I do with him when my support is low and I'm by myself. Anything calm, anything where he can get out and run. Like if you want to RV around NY, make your itinerary based on the campgrounds you'll be going to. Find things you know that work and only hit normal tourist attractions if they happen to line up. Like you'd rather have a couple nights at a state park with things that go well (fishing, trails to walk, whatever) or a campground that goes well (swimming, etc.) than to try to do Niagara but be stuck in the city with no where to burn off steam and lots of traffic and cliffs and stress.

 

Yeah, I hear you. I guess I'm just used to NY lol. I actually moved up here from Long Island, so to me the rest of the state is very calm and peaceful and the traffic is a piece of cake in comparison. I wouldn't dare go to Corning though lol. 


  • OhElizabeth likes this

#26 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 20 January 2017 - 05:11 PM

If you just fly somewhere with a beach, how will he do? We have friends who went to (insert name of islands with sand) a few years ago and are going back. They made it sound like you could find affordable tickets to fly there, pick sort of a less popular island, and just sorta hang on the beach and wander and snorkel and do quiet things. That would be super easy with our kids. Water, sand, that's all great sensory, very calming. Like whatever they do well with, maybe do a little more of. I think (hope!) ds will do well with Disney, but it's because he's a huge, huge sensory seeker. For him, to go ride rides is super insanely good. First ride on his priority list? Tower of Terror, lol. He's a nut. If I could take him to Universal, I would. He's just too short to ride the rides he would want, so we'll wait another year or two. 

 

If you find a state park that rents pontoons, that could be really lovely. You could park your RV, do activities, rent a pontoon, fish, swim... Boats are very calming for my ds.

 

I honestly think that he would do well with flying to a beach and just keeping it at that. It's my 2 year old that I'm worried about when it comes to that idea. I picture a lot of tantrums, sand throwing, sand eating, chasing him, etc. I think that if I just wait a year it would be so much more enjoyable for everyone. 

 

I like that pontoon idea! I have never thought to try to rent one! 


  • OhElizabeth likes this

#27 mom of 2 boys

mom of 2 boys

    Hive Mind Level 4 Worker: Builder Bee

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 236 posts

Posted 20 January 2017 - 05:22 PM

What you might do, if you're actually interested in the RV thing, is look at rental places and see the layouts. Like there are really small ones, and really huge ones! And when I say I didn't really want to drive it myself, that was a 30' RV, kwim? Like seriously, it was big. The thing could sleep like 1k people and hold football parties. (not really)

 

Your kids are little? My grandparents had this smaller RV, sort of an overgrown van, wouldn't be much harder to drive than a van, and it didn't have a dedicated bedroom area. The dining converted to a bed at night and was the sofa as well. So no sofa, no separate bed. And the loft above the driver area was fabulous for kids to sleep. 

 

If you can find something kinda small like that, you might find it very manageable! Small is a good way to start. We went big, but we knew we were going a long way with a lot of stuff and for a long time (2 weeks). 

 

Floorplans & Photo Tours – Great Alaskan Holidays - RV Rental Vacations & Sales This may be the place we used, can't remember. They show a 22' as the smallest they offer.

 

Yes, I really want something small and manageable. My kids just need to take breaks in a quiet place periodically throughout the day, so as long as there's a soft comfy place to snuggle up with a TV show and a clean bathroom (just clean, not fancy), we're good to go. We'll probably be barbecuing the whole time, so the kitchen isn't even that important. 


  • OhElizabeth likes this