We went on our first camping trip in the summer. It has been 4 years since we had a holiday so I was really looking forward to getting away and living in a tent for 2 weeks. As we all know camping is accessible to all.
All the best laid plans of mice and men
It all went wrong as soon as we arrived we had the “look ” from the other campers. My kids were running round screaming as any child would do, being excited about being on their first camping holiday. They were even invited to go and watch a movie while Mr Savvy put the tent up. Funny as soon as I mentioned they were autistic they were kicked out. At this point they had done nothing except stand at the door way of the tent. This should have set all the alarm bells ringing that we weren’t going to be accepted.
As the week progressed peoples attitudes towards us grew even more frosty. I wouldn’t mind if we had warranted the looks and stares. You could see the sigh of relief in the campers faces as we went out for “drives” . Really it was our escape from all the ignorance that surrounded us. Yet nothing was said to the kids that shouted and screamed till past midnight, but I suppose that was different. They were normal.
In an ideal world it would be good if sites were more aware of autism so when they got the complaints they would be more understanding. Also it would be good if other campers were a bit more tolerant. Listen if you wanted a quiet site in the day then go to an adult only site. Don’t go to a family site then moan when a child dares run around having fun.
Our holiday was ruined as we were always on guard and aware of the kids. It got so bad we came home a week early as the kids became more wound up and upset. The kids screaming is NOT them being naughty . It’s their way of saying I feel overwhelmed and can’t cope. My children have autism which is NOT a disease so why treat it as one. I always thought that camping was accessible to everyone…..
Camping is in fact good for a child with autism as it gives them their own space i.e the tent. They should be allowed to feel free and roam to just like any other child. I appreciate they don’t sense danger and some have no concept of danger but if they are being supervised I can’t see the problem. The kids didn’t bother anyone so why were people bothered about them.