Two years ago I took Nick to Cape Town. The trip involved a two hour plane trip and all that went with it. We were away from home for three nights and Nick coped exceptionally well. I was elated.
Nick has now been on a few more trips to the Cape and one to Zimbabwe. He has been carted here, there and everywhere! Since that initial trip he has become familiar (and comfortable) with long queues, waiting patiently, noisy airports, crowds, small spaces, going to new places, meeting new people, visiting restaurants AND eating restaurant Spaghetti Bolognaise.
The fact that he has been so flexible with each new adventure is huge. That memory bank of his just keeps growing and with it comes confidence and increased resilience. I am sure that it isn't easy for him, however, he is very aware that he can look to me (and the rest of the family) for help and reassurance. The iPad is always on hand for sticky moments or chill time.
This week we are pushing out all the stops and taking Nick overseas. I have been very relaxed about the 'idea' of it all, although now that the trip is imminent I am feeling a little nervous. Here we are, taking a severely autistic teen on three plane rides to get to our destination, one of which will be an overnighter. My wine consumption has already increased! :)
We have chosen to have a very low key holiday. We are based in one place and will take life very slowly. There won't be any pressure to get in all the sights and if Nick spends extra time on his iPad, so be it.
Wish us luck!