Dawn Barclay’s new book is Travelling Different: Vacation Strategies for Parents of the Anxious, the Inflexible, and the Neurodiverse. As the titling would suggest, Barclay’s book is about how to navigate both domestic and international travel for families with neurodiverse children. Barclay tirelessly, and relentlessly cites personalized scenarios, analogies, and examples, statistics and observationally-backed opinions, and her own brand of effective, communicatory expertise to provide a wholly three-dimensional topical roadmap, spanning from A to Z.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: http://www.dawnbarclayink.com/
This includes detailing of not only how to navigate the actual travelling phase, but things parents can do once they have reached their respective destinations. Everything from lodging to neurodivergent-friendly activities are laid out, in vivid detail. “Once you’ve arrived at your destination—either by air, rail, car, or ship—you’ll need to have somewhere to stay, somewhere that is understanding of, and can cater to, your child’s particular needs. It takes a great deal of preparation and research to find the right accommodations.
What might feel luxurious to parents may be interpreted by the anxious, inflexible, or neurodiverse child as a chaotic mélange of unfamiliar and meltdown-triggering sights, sounds, and smells that ultimately ward off comfort and sleep,” Barclay writes, in aforementioned vein. “…There’s a definite dichotomy of opinion regarding the most suitable accommodations for children on the spectrum. Both sides have valid points but, ultimately, parents know their child best.
Whatever your choice, as always, it is important to let the hotel or resort know your circumstances up front…Airbnb and rental apartments offer some advantages over hotels in that there are no noisy hotel hallways or neighbors in the next room, says Jonathan Haraty of Adventure Luxury Travel in Whitman, Massachusetts. ‘They are also more private because you’ll usually be the only ones in the unit,’ he says…Having only family members around is a clear advantage.
However, Haraty points out that one drawback could be location; house/apartment shares may not be as centrally located as a hotel. ‘Also, there have been issues with guests not receiving the quality or amenities advertised. Airbnb is working on this issue but beware, just in case,’ he warns.”
It’s this kind of conscientiousness, not just evidenced by the actual content of Barclay’s book, but also by way of her numerous citations and willingness to showcase other professionals’ expertise relevant to the book’s topical themes that endears herself professionally and personally to the reader’s instinct. “Travel has always been in my blood. As the daughter of the owners of one of Manhattan’s leading travel agencies, is it any wonder? Couple that with the fact my father’s entire family lived in the United Kingdom, and as you can imagine, I spent a lot of my childhood on the road,” Barclay states evocatively. “…My greatest surprise in researching this book was discovering that the tips families on the autistic spectrum use to travel the world often work for neurotypical (non-autistic) families as well.
I hope this book can help soothe the hiccups of any family’s travel. My greatest joy would be receiving a note from parents who previously thought they couldn’t travel and discovered, thanks to the information contained in this guide, that the world was now open to them, and that as a family, they could build a life-time of happy memories together.”