Q&A with Zoe Sandell-Autism Parent

  “When Brodie was diagnosed with Autism at 22 months old I made a promise to myself that it would not stop us from taking him places and giving him and the rest of the family all the experiences life has to offer.”

 

Q&A with Zoe Sandell-Autism Parent

Hi, My name is Zoe, I am mum to two teens on the autism spectrum: Harley, who is sixteen years old and diagnosed with Asperger’s and Brodie, who is thirteen years old and diagnosed with severe Autism. Brodie is non-verbal and has challenging behaviours.You can read all about our Parisian adventure here.

When Brodie was diagnosed with Autism at twenty-two months, I made a promise to myself that it would not stop us from taking him places and giving him and the rest of our family all the experiences life has to offer. I didn’t want not to take him places and have him miss out on anything the rest of us experienced just because it was all too hard.
So as a result, Brodie has travelled around our native country of Australia and has been on two BIG overseas holidays with all of us.He got the opportunity to ride jet skis, ski boats, canoes, paddle boats, planes, trains and bicycles, to name a few.

For our longer trips, we usually create a social story or a schedule for Broadie, with pics from the internet with exact locations. We’ve noticed that especially for holidays it helps him when he understands what will be happening each day so he can see the days when the fun stuff like gift giving or parties will be happening!
No matter where we go, short or long trips  I pack a portable DVD player that works well for Brodie.The player had kept him busy on long plane trips when we traveled overseas.Recently he got an I-pod which is awesome as it is smaller in size and much more convenient to pack and carry around than a player.
We take into account both boys’ hobbies and interests when we plan to visit any destination and always make sure that at least part of the trip is about them and what they want to do.With that said we as parents are also included in the process so the journey should never be completely about them, and we should also be able to have some fun.

Overall, I am so glad I made that promise to myself years ago when I did because the pleasure and education my boys got from our traveling experiences are almost priceless!

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