We’re Going on Vacation? A Social Story

This is a social story I just created for the boys, to help them understand where we are going, and when we are coming home.  Vacations are not easy on the boys.  Dash is known to stay awake 24 hours/day for several days in a row.  He doesn’t seem to mind that, but his poor parents do!

I found a picture online of the hotel, which will help Sketch & Dash know when we finally arrive!

The particular hotel we will be staying at has a pool.  Sketch used to attempt to take all his clothes off  to swim in the giant bathtub, but as of last summer, he would not put on his swimsuit at all.  He doesn’t see why you would wear “shorts” without underwear!


Sketch doesn’t seem like to go on vacation at all. He wants to sleep in his own bed, in his own house. He usually does pretty well until it is time to sleep, then he is ready to leave and go home.

So, I have made sure to mention what days we will sleep in the hotel, and that we will sleep all night!

And, hopefully, being at the hotel with the kids Grandparents, Aunt & Uncle,  and Cousins near their age, will help Sketch relax and have a good time!

In the past, I would have used more pictures for the schedule piece of the story, but considering both boys are reading well, and they have the calendars memorized for years to come (lol, well, almost!) I decided to keep it short and just write it out.  I would have LOVED to have pictures of Mr. Incredible’s parents and his brothers’ family that we will be meeting there, but we don’t have any of the whole family!  We do have lots of video of them though, so hopefully Sketch understands who we are going to see when we get there.

Vacation for kids on the spectrum (and their families) is known to be hard because of all the breaks in routine and the jump into the unknown.

What ideas have you found to make it easier for everyone and more like a true vacation?


  1. alienhippy said,

    February 23, 2011 at 4:31 PM

    That’s wonderful Merri,
    You know while I was looking at this I thought about how much I dread going on holiday. I find it so hard to adapt and when I do it’s time to come home. Planning a holiday for us is a nightmare. We tend to do day trips now.
    When I was a kid my Mom and Dad had a caravan at our nearest seaside town. Mom always planned it so me and my brother were able to stay at the caravan for at least 4 weeks of the school holiday. Those were the best holidays ever. My Nan and Grandad would have us for 2 weeks and then Mom and Dad would have us the rest of the time. It was so much easier than just having a week somewhere unfamiliar.
    I think I should probably make these social stories for myself rather than replaying visuals and having imaginary conversations. It might calm my loops a bit. Worth a try isn’t it!
    Thanks for posting this Merri.
    Love and hugs.
    Lisa. xx 🙂

    • Merri Lewis said,

      February 26, 2011 at 6:30 PM

      Trips are a nightmare for us too..besides the autism stuff, we also have major food allergies to deal with so we have to pack a ton of stuff! This time, right after I showed the kids the social story and explained the when’s and where’s, and they “got” it, we got the weather report that we were expecting a major snow storm!!! Since we were meeting relatives, we decided it would be better to leave a day early!!! Thankfully, Sketch had it in him that we were leaving on Thursday, so it all worked out!!!

      We have much better luck on day triips, too…but our families are all 12 hours away, so we have to take long trips sometimes too…sigh…

  2. fiona2107 said,

    February 25, 2011 at 6:58 PM

    Well done Merri!
    We are trying to put together a social story at the moment for the 14 hour flight we are attempting in September to take the kids to Disneyland….eeeek,

  3. Merri Lewis said,

    February 26, 2011 at 6:32 PM

    Wow, Fi!!! You’ll be so much closer to us, yet so far away!!! That is a VERY brave undertaking!! You GO girl!

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