Car trip from Anapa to Surgut with an autistic child

Once I wrote with a noticeable amount of self-irony about how I flew on a plane with my daughter, who has autism (you can read about this here). Repeat now such an adventure, I am not mentally ready, and I feel sorry for others. Try to travel long distances by train, too, does not pull, one thing is 3-4 hours on the plane and another is almost four days on the train. That’s why we’re traveling by car now.

My parents live in Surgut and now my father is very ill, there is an urgent need to go and support my parents. For road trips, we purchased a Nissan elgrand minivan, the first time in which we wanted to transfer money to the driver for travel, since the car is large and there was a feeling that you were going in a minibus. We planned to spend the night right in the car, the benefit of three rows of chairs are laid out in a great bed.

About food.

Our daughter is very selective in food, I wrote about this here. The big question was how to feed her on the road. Our choice fell on her favorite dish — fried chicken, so we took with us a table, a gas stove, a frying pan, her usual plate and fork. At home, I fried chicken for her several times on this stove and she ate it with pleasure. But it didn’t happen on the road. The first time Alice ate a couple of three pieces, but for dinner refused the chicken completely. At first, we fell into a slight panic, we have to go 3800 km, it is still not summer, which means that the speed of movement is not so high, go 4 days according to our calculations and what all this time to feed the child is unknown. The usual pureed soup can be cooked in the field, of course, but it is very complicated and long, and it is okay to cook it, it still needs to be pureed somehow. Looking for something like this in roadside cafes is a waste of time. In General, we sat for a while, and then relaxed and decided that hunger is not an aunt, she will want to eat. The second day of our trip, she spent on a pack of sweets, and by the evening she had worn off a couple of kozinaks. On the third day, after lunch on the third day, we reached Chelyabinsk, where we have a lot of friends and relatives, and in the evening Alice ate semolina. Yes, Alice is on a bgbk diet, but during the trip we decided that we would allow some violations, as long as the child was fed. In the evening of the next day we reached Tyumen, where we stayed with my friend. Here Alice quite tolerably ate buckwheat porridge on the water, which was even poorly mashed. We were able to get out of Tyumen only by lunch the next day and at night we were already in Surgut, where loving grandmothers prepared the usual food for our granddaughter. On the way back, Alice was quite comfortable, ready to eat chicken in any place, ate porridge (I even took a sample of children’s bnezmolochnaya divorce and she quite ate it). Of course, the diet decreased slightly, but it turned out that if you do not escalate the situation, the problem with nutrition ceases to be a problem. On the way back, Alice even ate a cracker with pleasure, asked for a banana a couple of times, but did not bite it, just licked it. This is a very great achievement, because she practically does not try new products.

About entertainment.

I took a small box of her favorite games with me. Several puzzles, stickers, pencils and coloring books. I took several developmental tasks (logic tests, writing lists, counting sticks, etc.). The puzzles were great. Although, I took her usual pictures, which she had already collected more than once (for 160 elements), she collected them on duty, because when the car bounced on a bump or entered a turn, the finished picture slid along the Board on which she folded it, collapsed or simply fell apart and had to start again. Alice was not afraid of such difficulties and she calmly reacted to the fact that it is necessary to start working again. The stickers came in very well. It was convenient to play with them, they do not take up much space and are great fun. From developing tasks more or less well went prescriptions, but still in a moving car to write is not very convenient, so more drawn. In addition, her favorite cartoons were uploaded, and she watched them on the screen that is built into the ceiling of the car. Cartoons, of course, helped out a lot.

About the toilet.

Initially, I planned to take a pot, although Alice has long and confidently goes to the toilet, as it will be on the road, I imagined poorly. When we last traveled by car, she was almost 3 and we took the pot with us, of course. And after using the pot, I used a diaper to collect the liquid and throw it in the trash at bus stops. Now Alice is seven and in the end we decided that we would not take the pot, we would stop. It was absolutely the right decision. Alice warned us that she wanted to go to the toilet, and while we were getting dressed (and she was driving in shorts and a t-shirt), our dad pulled out to the gas station or to the curb, if the latter was not in the vicinity. Only once there was an incident, when we stopped at Pyaterochka and while I was in the store choosing real Tula gingerbread for Souvenirs, Alice tried to explain to dad that it was necessary to go to the toilet, until dad realized and already began to open the door, she could not wait. It didn’t cost much blood, the booster was soaked, I just took off the soft cover and put it in a bag, and wiped the seat itself and put a small diaper on top. At gas stations, there were no problems with the toilet at all, Alice calmly reacted to the fact that I wrapped the seat with toilet paper and obediently washed my hands, since this action is familiar to her.

About sleep.

When we were traveling for the last time, Alice was carsick (in a good way). She slept well during the day, in the evening, and in the morning when the car was in motion, but she woke up when the car was stationary. So at night our dad slept, and we guarded his sleep by loitering around the car and walking around the gas station. Only this was in the summer, and this time we left on February 27, here you can’t walk all night. I wanted to organize it so that my dad could sleep well, because he then had to drive all day and Alice to be busy and not to worry about idleness. For this purpose, we removed the phones from her (and she loves them very much). The phone was my trump card for the night. By making a small volume, we could easily hold it until the morning and give our captain a chance to sleep. Alice surprised me in terms of sleep. She perfectly kept the usual routine of the day (rise at 6, sleep at 21.00), plus or minus a couple of hours. Considering that we changed the time zone twice on the way, this is generally ideal. During the day, she didn’t sleep, fell asleep while dad was still driving, and when the car stopped, she could Wake up, but almost immediately fell asleep. Sometimes she would Wake up at night, but then our trump would come on the scene and after a couple of hours, she would calmly fall asleep until morning.

The difficulty arose when we first stopped for the night with our friends in Chelyabinsk. Alice kept calling for us to get in the car. She didn’t want to spend the night in the apartment. Maybe she didn’t like the new environment, or maybe she was used to being carsick, but even the phone trump didn’t change her mind. We did not spend the night in the car, but stood firm, we will spend the night here. Alice was crying, defiantly taking off her underpants and throwing them, then sniffing, pulling them back on, dragging me by the hand to the door. It lasted two hours. Then she got tired and fell asleep. However, I woke up at night and cried for 10 minutes, but I managed to calm her down and we fell asleep until morning. All the subsequent nights in unfamiliar places were much easier. If she tried to go to sleep in the car, it was not for long, 15 minutes at most, and it did not reach the point of hysteria.

In Surgut, Alice was not 2 years and 9 months, but she remembered everything, very quickly got used to it and began to eat for a long road. The trip from Anapa to Surgut took us 5 days. We made the return trip in 4 days. A total of 9 days on the road. When we arrived home, Alice was asleep, but she woke up and was very happy that we were back. She ran from the car to the entrance with the gait of a drunk, because she was significantly staggered ( by the way, rocked us all the next day), while laughing and even jumping!


Of course, the trip was stressful for our daughter, but it was useful. She was forced to adapt to new conditions, which means that the brain began to work more actively. And, though, oure trip lasted a little more than two weeks, Alice had a lot of tricks. She learned to wear socks (it was difficult for her), although, for example, she can put on pants, tights, a jacket, this element of clothing was given to her worse. Very quickly, I figured out how to turn on the light in my grandmother’s toilet, climbing on the washing machine. Expanded the diet. She began to communicate with her uncle, nieces, and other relatives (previously, they were not so interesting to her to interact with them). I was able to stop her from carrying a Cup of juice to her room and putting it on the sofa. It was very funny. She would pour the juice into a mug and start moving towards the comanta with the mug, while watching my reaction, I would say that this should not be done and drink it in the kitchen, she would resign herself and put the mug on the table. Very quickly, I realized that my grandmother is much less strict than my mother and dragged a mug into the mine and spilled juice on the laptop keyboard. After that, my grandmother was also strict and did not allow me to take the juice out of the kitchen. It became easier to negotiate with her, she stopped getting hysterical if we go to some unknown or not interesting place for her. I became more disciplined. We had a lot of impressions and we are very happy with the results of our trip. We will definitely continue to travel. The main thing is that we ourselves have lost our fear. Fear of how to feed it, how to sleep, how to deal with unwanted behavior, and so on.

Have a good trip and lots of pleasant impressions!