The Other Side of the World | Guest post by Claire Bertolus

As promised – a gorgeous guest post by Claire. And yes, lovely sister, we would give just about anything to be chowing down on danish pastries with you over the next few weeks, but with Poss’ (new found) fear of planes and mountains of therapy bills, it’s just out of our reach. But one day. One day soon.

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I have lived in Copenhagen for almost a year and a half now. In that time I have gone from a sightseer who happened to be in love with a Dane, to a resident who happens to be in love with the city (but maybe not the weather).

 I have been fortunate enough to have many friends pop in for a weekend, a few stayed for a few days. But up until this point I have never had any family visit. Next week my dad, stepmother and two tweenage sisters will break that streak, with a whole week in chilly Copenhagen.

My sisters are practically bursting with excitement and I am looking forward to stuffing them with danish pastry. They are not, however, at an age to be as fundamentally impressed by a good castle as my niece might be.

In the three years that I have lived overseas Renee and I have spoken many times about the possibility of sampling cheese in France, pounding the pavements of London and more recently, admiring the architecture of Copenhagen. We have talked over and over about sharing it with each other and also with Poss.

Can kids with Aspergers syndrome travel? Can adults with Aspergers syndrome travel for that matter? The helpful people at Your Little Professor assure me that anything is possible with the right preparation for the journey.

Most of these tips seem to push parents towards choosing local destinations, driving instead of flying and bringing an extraordinary amount of stuff with them. But what if, as in my case, what you want to see is on the other side of a thirty hour flight, a language barrier and there are no Cheerios there? I am literally on the other side of the world.

People living with Aspergers, I know, are like any others; some are curious about seeing the world and others are not. But I also know the rich experiences that only travel can bring. And I would hate to see my niece cut off from that bounty by low expectations.

Poss loves her routine and her Cheerios. She likes to watch the same episodes of TV again and again and sometimes she get’s anxious about how the dog is coping when she’s not home. But she also loves princesses and lego, fairytales and adventures. I am confident that one day, with the right skills and preparation, the second list will win.

I know that she will make it, in her own time. And I will be waiting here to go on a tour of Fredericksburg castle, whether with a seven year old, a seventeen year old or a twenty seven year old.

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Comments

  1. ohhh that was lovely!! as a mum of a 12yr old Aspy I can say that it is definitely possible, just need a little time. xx

  2. Check out Maddy at Whitterer on Autism http://whittereronautism.com/ – she lives in the USA and travels back to England to see her family once a year, with 2 kids on the spectrum.

    Maddy was one of the first autism bloggers I started reading and she inspired me to believe anything is possible.

    Also our 2 hour plane flights to QLD each year are made so much easier by the addition of an ipad. We do still have to pack a ton of luggage though.
    Marita recently posted..World Autism Awareness Day – Perfectly Different, Differently PerfectMy Profile

    • Thanks Marita – I will have to check it out! We have done a couple of trips to Fiji, which is about 7 hours and is about as long as I can imagine her going at the moment… but I am sure with age and the right preparations she would be ok.

      It’s not the travel so much though that worries me, it’s more the differences once we arrive. We have done Fiji twice now and both times it was horrid (well as horrid as Fiji can be!!), as she wouldn’t eat the food (too different) and wouldn’t sleep… We can only hope!

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