Autistic Adults and Vacation Planning

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Autism After 16 website shares ideas on how to make summer travel easier for autistic adults.

Good planning can make summer travel much more tranquil for autistic adults.

"A stereotype about autistic adults is that we do not like traveling,” says Autism After 16 writer Zosia Zaks.

For many autistic adults, travel can be difficult. Changes in routine, sensory issues, and unfamiliar social situations can lead to discomfort and anxiety. “A stereotype about autistic adults is that we do not like traveling,” says Autism After 16 writer Zosia Zaks. “In order to travel, don’t you have to leave the familiarity of home? Won’t it be too hard to cope with new environments, new routines, and new people? The reality is that some of us on the spectrum like to travel and some of us don’t. Whether you can’t wait for vacation—or you’re being dragged along on one—planning can help.” Zaks' article, “Dreaming of Summer Vacation—Maybe,” offers insights for autistic adults and their families to make summer adventures a bit less stressful.

Zaks, who was diagnosed with autism at age 31, is also the parent of two daughters on the autism spectrum. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and author of the book “Life and Love: Positive Strategies for Autistic Adults.” Zaks resides in Maryland, serves on the boards of several local and national autism organizations and was appointed to the Maryland Commission on Autism. She is one of five writers at Autism After 16 who is autistic; most other contributors have family members with autism.

The website Autism After 16 was developed to address issues facing the growing population of autistic adults and their families. “We purposely hired writers with different experiences, different voices,” says editor Merope Pavlides. “Our goal is to reach out to families and provide information and analysis on a variety of issues from a variety of perspectives. Everything from education to finances to building better community relationships. What many of our articles have in common, however, is a focus on thoughtful planning. Even when thinking about summer vacation!”

Zaks also notes the value of good information. “Families planning for adulthood now have the benefit of lots of information we didn’t have when I was growing up,” she says. “Instead of fumbling in the dark, we can help autistic adults reach their potential and obtain a good quality of life.”

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Merope Pavlides
Autism After 16
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