Getting Ready for Our Trip and Life Skills

I love to travel, meeting new people and seeing new places is exciting to me. I am lucky in that our business involves traveling. We had a client flying in to meet another client that is based in Chicago. We actually had a short time to prepare for this due to several beyond our control reasons. As many of you know, traveling is always stressful, and it is more stressful when traveling with an Autistic child. Mark and I work very hard to teach Peyton day-to-day life skills, and traveling is one of those. I had Peyton pack his own suitcases and backpack. It is very hard not to pack for him or to go on behind him to make sure he has everything. I also know that if I do,then he really isn’t learning to be self-sufficient in day-to-day tasks. I gave him a general overview of what he needed to pack. I know Peyton loves checking the weather, so I encouraged him to look at Chicago weather and pack the proper clothes. I myself checked as well to make sure we wouldn’t be encountering severe weather and decided to let me make decisions on clothes etc…
We decided to drive to Chicago as that is easier with Peyton, and lucky for us we have another child who lives close and who is willing to house and dog-sit! We Homeschool so we use our travels as an opportunity to teach Peyton as well. Traveling also affords the ability to teach him things that Peyton may not otherwise be exposed to. One of the skills we worked with him on was journaling our gas expenses. We had him write down, the amount at each fill-up as well as location, cost, price per gallon and mileage. This way he can learn how much it does cost to operate a car. We also like to travel off of the main highways so we can stop at different historical locations as well as places of interest. We stopped at Hot Springs Arkansas, New Madrid, Missouri, Meramec Caverns and Jefferson Texas. Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.25.29 PMEach of these places we went to the historical museums and or the main town square and read up on the History. On-site learning affords Peyton a lesson that is easier for him than just sitting being talked at, it encourages him to interact more and I find this works better. It allows Mark and I some one-on-one time with him, to discuss issues that are bothering him or topics he wants to discuss. Many times, because of his Autism, he doesn’t come and sit down and talk to us like my older ones did. Being in the car with him for a trip allows us that opportunity.
I know at times traveling can be overwhelming for Peyton as well as Mark and I, but it also affords us many amazing opportunities. I will have a 4 part blogging series on our travels, where I will go more in-depth about the places we visited, the Hotels, people we met along the way, as well as a Blog from Peyton about the trip!
I hope you will continue to follow this series and would love your comments, suggestions and feedback!

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