A Class Overnight with an Autistic Child


Does your child with autism do overnights?

My child has done overnights only with other family members. Of course he’s gone on numerous vacations. But, those were always with his parents or a relative. My child sleeps well in a hotel room. He has also done well at a relative’s house. But does that mean he’s ready for a sleepover? I don’t know.

But I’m going to have to figure it out because next year, as a sixth grader, my son’s entire class takes a trip to the mountains for a four-day overnight…

My son is excited about going. He loves mountains and he’s already looking forward to it.

I’m not ready yet. 

But, I’m getting prepared early. At my son’s last IEP, I asked the question, “Can they accommodate my son on this trip?” My goal is to get an aide to go with my son on this trip. I fear that he’ll wander off. I know the chances that he actually will is low. But, you can’t stop a mother from worrying! I mentioned this at the IEP to make it official, they put it in the notes, and I will make sure that they follow through with it.

What else did I find out?

My son has always had a female aide. On this camping overnight, he’ll need a male aide since the boys’ cabin and the girls’ cabin are separated. I briefly considered sending him without an aide, since we are weaning the aide off during sixth grade, but I figure why chance it.A cabin in the mountains is a great idea in my son’s head. He really does love to be in the mountains. But, it is a very unfamiliar environment. He’ll be sleeping in a cabin with other peers.

My goal is for my son to be safe. No doubt about that.

My main concern is to keep on top of school since the pool of male aides is relatively small. They have sent male aides to camp before, so I feel confident that it will happen. I put the school on notice that I’ll need the aide a year early to make sure he’s covered.

I’ll continue to talk to him about the trip. I know he can go and have a great time.

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