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Old 08-01-2016, 06:44 AM   #1
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Symsonia , Kentucky
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Special Needs Adult children

Hello, are wondering if there are other families airstreaming across the country with special needs children? Our son is a high functioning 24 year old in the autism spectrum . Have you found ways to make traveling fun for the whole family? Any ideas?
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:34 AM   #2
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Hello, are wondering if there are other families airstreaming across the country with special needs children? Our son is a high functioning 24 year old in the autism spectrum . Have you found ways to make traveling fun for the whole family? Any ideas?
Jsail48
Hi Jsail, I had to look up Symsonia, KY, never heard of it. You're over in the western side of the state. I've been to LBL, Kentucky & Barkley; pretty country. Welcome to the forum.

We have a 21 year old and we are just now finding more of his symptoms appear to be AS or HFA, although we don't have a diagnosis. He refuses any sort of treatment and being 21, we're struggling. This recently came to a head and I wish I had more information for you about our travels with him.

He hasn't shown any interest in going anywhere with us except to a Nintendo gaming venue in Virginia. I took him last year and the wife is coming with us this year. He has been tent camping with us when he was younger, fishing also but after about 15 his interest in the outdoors was at zero.

We're only a couple years into the Airstream thing and he was in Japan for about 9 months. If there's a Nintendo tournament, his favorite activity, he seems to be interested but we haven't really pursued it as yet, still working with him.

Does your son enjoy the outdoors or is he more interested in indoor activities?
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Old 08-01-2016, 09:12 AM   #3
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special needs adult children

We have just begun to travel more since retiring. Our son is 34 with Down syndrome. Can not walk long distances but loves to go. Our daughter has autism. Everyone loves to bicycle so we bought a tandem for my husband and son. We usually cover 10-15 miles. Florida 30a is our favorite trail. It is away from traffic. We also try to stay in the state parks that offer the beach wheel chair. If your son has autism this offers a safe place. Our daughter has no problem with noise if she uses the w/c. Of course Disney fort wilderness is their favorite place to go. We pick places to visit based on walking distance and noise. They love camping and would go everyday especially since we upgraded to airstream.
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Old 08-01-2016, 08:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies . Our son likes to travel and wants to socialize with other people ,however, is at a stage where he really wants to separate from parents . Most of our travel has been associated with events we attended. He is also fascinated with amusement park rides. We are always looking for ways to broaden his outlook and experiences but frustrating at the same time . It's a balancing act trying to protect him and allow him to experiment at the same time.
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Old 08-02-2016, 11:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jsail48 View Post
Thanks for the replies . Our son likes to travel and wants to socialize with other people ,however, is at a stage where he really wants to separate from parents . Most of our travel has been associated with events we attended. He is also fascinated with amusement park rides. We are always looking for ways to broaden his outlook and experiences but frustrating at the same time . It's a balancing act trying to protect him and allow him to experiment at the same time.
Our son is at the other end of the spectrum. He doesn't want to socialize except with a small circle of friends, even with others who enjoy his passion for gaming. He doesn't want to be out on his own, go to school or work. He wants to live at home. We're still not sure about his diagnosis.

I wish I could be of more help, we're struggling right now. We want to travel more but the wife is afraid to leave him, although he seems to be settling down a bit.
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Old 08-02-2016, 08:10 PM   #6
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Hello everyone.

Our son is 31yrs. old and has multiple disabilities, including Epilepsy and developmental disability. He currently is living in a Supportive Living home with two roommates with 24-hour staffing. Adam's seizures are brought on by overheating, stress, being overly tired, and illness (when getting the flu, a cold, etc, your blood cells change and this can bring on seizures).

We are mindful of what the weather is forecast to be prior to arranging for a camping trip with him. We also have to make certain there is a decent hospital within a reasonable distance in case he starts seizing and all methods fail in stopping the seizure.

Adam loves to go camping, but he is unable to hike, bike, etc.; he loves to sit around a campfire. He, too, loves to play Nintendo, but only the Super Mario Brothers games. He also loves to watch movies, so we take along a portable DVD player for movies he likes to watch, and then a movie or two that we all can watch on our larger TV.

Needless to say, Adam does not always go camping with us. Much as we would love to take him more often, that just is not possible.

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Old 08-03-2016, 07:52 PM   #7
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Regarding biking, I don't have personal experience with the BuddyBike, but you may want to check it out.

Quote:
The Buddy Bike -
The Alternative Tandem Bicycle

The Buddy Bike® is the alternative inline tandem bicycle (bicycle for two) that places the stoker (smaller rider) in the front seat while the rear rider controls the steering. The Buddy Bike has a lower front seat so both riders can safely enjoy the view. It is shorter in length than a typical tandem, making it easier to store and transport. The Buddy Bike is CPSC safety-rated for up to 380 pounds; making it the ultimate family bike that can be enjoyed by riders of most ages and abilities. The features of the Buddy Bike offer adaptive outdoor recreation and therapeutic activity to riders with cognitive or physical disabilities who may not be able to ride a bicycle safely on their own or who do not have the strength to pedal a bike alone. The Buddy Bike allows riders with autism, down syndrome, sight impairment or other disabilities to experience the thrill of riding a bicycle with the whole family. They are no longer left behind!
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:09 PM   #8
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I don't know if is the politically correct thing to say, but here are my thoughts:

Wow! Good for you Folks! I have a hard enough time gathering the energy to get Dave and myself loaded and organized. I admire you. So cool to keep everyone in your families out there, seeing the World! (Whether they want to, or not, right? All good parents twist those kids arms a bit to get them out of their comfort zones)

Go Super-Cool Parents!!!

Susan
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Old 08-03-2016, 08:22 PM   #9
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My sister is 65, grew up camping, did fine, pretty high functioning. Now she chooses to use walker, makes it harder. I take carecof her,
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:12 PM   #10
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We have a 4 year old autistic grandson. He is a sweet child but likes to run so it is hard to contain him on the campsite. We are hopeful that as he grows this changes as we would like him to come along on trips. I really respect those of you who are willing to do whatever it takes to accommodate special needs children.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:53 AM   #11
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The Buddy Bike sounds like a good option for many, but unfortunately, it wouldn't work for us. When Adam has seizures he loses all control of his body and would fall, causing the other rider to fall also. In addition, during Grand Mals, we need to get him onto his side immediately so that his saliva drains out of his mouth and does not go down his throat, causing him to asperate, and not be able to breath.

Remphoto, this may sound confining, but I see it as a safety item -- have you tried a child's harness? Our daughter had to use one for our Grands when they were just walking and did not listen well when going to places like the zoo, etc. We also used one when we took them camping where there was a lake -- small children can move quickly and to me safety comes before convenience.

Susan, I can really only speak for our situation; first I thank you, but secondly it is just what we do. We wanted children, and wanting to be around them and see them enjoy family time is precious to us. For some years we had our son every weekend, but this past year we started spreading it out in order to try to help him become more independent of us -- we won't be around forever, as we all know.

Sbb, that's wonderful that your sister has you to count on, I'm certain her life is so much more than it would be if she didn't have you. All good acts of kindness are rewarded in one way or other, sooner or later.

Our lives are so much more blessed to have our loved ones in our lives.

Deb
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Old 08-09-2016, 06:38 AM   #12
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Wow - I was really surprised to see this thread. Somehow in my isolation, I forgot that we are not alone in this situation.

My son is in his late 30's, and has special needs. We are currently working for Amazon in Kentucky, and he's living in our travel trailer with us right now. He loves computer games and talking on Skype or TeamSpeak. He did enjoy our stopover at the Crater of Diamonds state park in Arkansas on our way here, but in the past he hasn't been interested in much of anything other than video games and movies.

Our next big challenge, since we are not getting any younger, is to find a living situation where we can hand off the daily monitoring of meds and other issues to a staff that will treat him with respect and care for him after our demise. He falls through the cracks of the few safety nets our country has for people with disabilities and special needs.
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Old 08-09-2016, 08:01 AM   #13
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No kids of our own, but I retired after 35 years working for a not for profit developing group homes and schools for DD folks. Glad to see the efforts you all are making. Maybe you can get a sub- forum here to make it easier to share info.


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