Hello, I haven't posted on this board for a very long time. I really enjoy checking in from time to time. I have a daugher, Ashton, age 10, with DS. Her health is good, but she does have problems with speech and ear infections. Here is our dilema, our family is going to Hawaii the end of July. My husband, myself, our daughter, age 14 and youngest daughter, age 8. We really want to take Ashton with us, but are concerned whether she will enjoy the trip. The plane trip is our biggest concern. Being in a small space for a long period of time and she has problems with her ears. But we all hate the fact that we might not be able to take her with the rest of the family. I would appreciate any feedback - what has been your experience with flying?
I have never taken a LONG plane ride with my daughter (14) with Down syndrome. We flew a couple years ago from TN to CA, and she had a backpack full of "NEW" fun stuff to do so she enjoyed the trip. It was just 4 hours long. She didn't have any problems with her ears at all. Could your daughter chew gum during the flight? That sometimes helps me when my ears pop. Maybe she could take something for motion sickness............I'm thinking it would make her somewhat drowsy, and she could rest during the flight? My daughter LOVES to travel!!! We have flown with her, have taken her on a cruise, and she is always ready to GO!!
I hope Ashton gets to go to Hawaii!
Keep posting! Susan
Last Edit: Jan 6, 2006 23:26:30 GMT -5 by Emilysmom
I have no real advice to offer, but just wanted to say Susan's advice sounded great and it would be TERRIBLE if Ashton was not part of a family vacation.
The only other thought I had was maybe taking a "red-eye" and she would perhaps sleep on the plane ?
Long flights can irritate ANYBODY and airlines know that, so there would probably be plenty of movies to watch or with Personal DVD players being so abundant now, perhaps Ashton could have her own favorites....or as Susan said.....a great new one she has been dying to see.
I hope you all can swing it.....it woudl be a wonderful family trip !
Mom to Connor (20) Ty (16) and Erin (13 with DS & Autism dx)
I hope you decide to take her, sounds like that would be an awesome trip.
Jason has always been a good traveler and loves to fly. Even when he didn't like being in restaurants or places that were loud he didn't have a problem flying for whatever reason. I agree with Susan, just take some fun stuff to keep the kids occupied.
When I fly my ears always get plugged and I'm in major pain (and I don't normally have ear problems), so I take something such as Sudafed or Tylenol Sinus (an antihistamine?) before I get on the plane. If I have connecting flights, I usually try to plan on taking the medicine during the longest leg of the flight - that's usually the leg of the flight that you are at the highest altitude as well which is when I seem to have the most problems. While I was pregnant I had a cold and had to fly (ugh). I was given incorrect information about taking Tylenol Sinus and it was suggested that I just use a saline nasal spray. Surprisingly this did help too to keep everything clear and I didn't get all plugged up. So, if you don't want to give her medicine, the nasal spray is another alternative to use. Chewing gum does nothing for me, but taking something to dry me up helps a ton.
Let us know how your trip goes!
Jessie, mom to Jason 20 yrs old (Ds), Ellie 8, and Jake 6, married to Brian
Invest in a portable dvd player and a few new dvd's. At least you can keep her a bit distracted. I haven't ever had to take Sarah on more than a three hour flight but she does very well. I bought a dvd player for our last trip but it was defective. Ugh! We do a lot of singing and bring playdough, crayons, little toys, etc. We also bring lots of snacks. Sarah is only four but has been a good traveler. She also has lots of ear troubles but has never seemed to be in pain while flying. You may want to give your daughter a decongestant before you fly. It might be worth calling the ENT and getting his advice.
Mommy to Alyssa 5-18-90 and Sarah (Ds) 9-10-01 ~Wife to Sam ~ GG to Lillianna 6-7-11
Hi, I also agree it would be terrible for her to miss a trip to Hawaii with her family. I would say...do the best you can to make it an enjoyable flight (dvd's, fav games etc) and definitly take her with you. If she doesn't like the flight......so what, she'll get over it and I am sure once the plane land in Hawaii....you'll be thrilled ALL of your children are there to enjoy paradise with you!!
Lisa Mommy to Elayna 10-1-02 and Daniel (Ds) 6-7-05
Thank you for all of the replies. All good ideas. Unfortunately, she doesn't chew gum. She still has some issues with the movement of her mouth, tongue, etc.. In fact, we have never been able to get her to suck on a straw, so if anyone has ideas there, let me know. She goes to a speech therapist that has helped Ashton a bunch. Ashton likes routine. So that is another concern. She doesn't like to do things out of her routine. We really want her to go, but the question is, will Ashton enjoy it? But we would go crazy not having her around for 1 week!!! Thanks again.
We went for IL to CA this last year with Carter when he was almost 3 and he did GREAT! Sydney (non-DS) is the one who threw up! We are also going to Hawaii either late next year or early the year after (my brother is stationed there for the next 3+ years) so we may be returning at least once a year for a while. Have you ever taken her on a vacation before? How was she then when she was off her routine? Is there somewhere else you could drive to that you would all enjoy as well? I would never take a family vacation without Carter.
We go to Jackson Hole, WY, every summer and she does good, because we have been there more than once. The first time, wasn't so good. She is happy if we stay at the hotel, hang out, play in the pool etc. But she really doesn't want to do other things besides that. We are going to Hawaii because we have round trip sky miles that have to be used by the end of the year and we have a relative that is letting us use his condo. So the location is pretty set. We will still do a couple of small family vacations that Ashton will be able to go for sure. We know some people with a son with DS and he was going to a different country for special olympics for bowling. He was traveling with the team so he was flying out a different time than his family. So, his family left on their plane first, then it came time for him to get on the plane, and no way. He wouldn't get on the plane. No matter what they did. He was 18. So his parents and family were already in the different country waiting for him and he didn't even get on the plane! I am sure they can laugh about it now, but probably not at the time!! Then we have another friend that their daughter has a disability (not DS) and they were going to Disney World. I think she was about 17 at the time. Anyway, it was miserable. If we don't take Ashton, she would stay at home with her grandparents and would be spoiled rotten. Anyway, this is way too hard of a decision!
Hi, I have a 4 year old with DS. I am from England but live in Western Canada - so it's a LONG flight home 10+ hours. We have taken Ethan back to England 3 times and we have never had a problem with his ears on the flight. Once he had tubes so that stops any pressure problems anyway. However when he has not had tubes we have gone to the doctor before flying to have his ears checked - you would not want to fly with a bad ear infection for example. I would just go talk to the doctor and see what he/she recommends. Once Ethan got a bad cold and mild ear infection whilst we were in England and of course we had to fly home - the doctor there gave us antibiotics for the ears straight away so we could give them time to work before flying. If you suspect an infection go sooner rather than later if you are close to your flight date. We take Ethan everywhere, the flight isn't always wonderful as we have three small children, but I just think of it as a means to an end, it's always worth it! Hope you have a wonderful holiday!
Hi Gina! I'm a flight attendant for Delta. I don't know what airline you are flying on. I don't really see many kids (ds or not) with ear problems except when they have a cold or their nose and ears are stuff up for some reason. Most of the DS kids are just so very excited and curious when they fly. Really, DS kids are better flyers than typical kids.
Ask the flight attendants or pilots if you can take her to visit the flight deck. Most pilots love seeing kids and show them some buttons and lights. You can even take pictures up there.
Also, you might put her at a window sit so that she can see outside. Oh...yea...DVD helps a lot and new toys. You might want to have some small bags so that you can put it underneath the seat in front of you so that you don't have to get it from the overhead bins all the time.
Benaldry would make her more relaxed and go to sleep easier. Comfortable U shape neck pillows are nice to have to sleep better and maybe bring your own thin blanket. Also, make sure she drinks some water cause flying makes your skin dry out and she can get thirsty. If she doesn't sleep, walk around the cabin a bit when the seat belt sign is off so that your legs won't get cramp up. Maybe just walk to the bathroom or ask the flight attendant for something to drink.
Since she can't chew gum, maybe give her some snacks throughout the flight. Also, to relieve some air pressure to the ears... pinch your nose, close your mouth and blow air out through your ears. Flight attendants do this all the time. If she can't do that, there are some ear pluggs you can buy to relieve air pressure.
I go to Hawaii all the time. Are you going to Honolulu? Make sure you visit the Aloha Stadium Flea Market. I think they are open on Wed, Sat and Sun. Check with the hotel clerk. They have a lot of cheap souvenirs and hand made stuff there. Also, check the International Market for more cheap stuff and the food court has really good food there. For sightseeing, drive around the East coast to Hananama Bay and Waimiea Bay (North Shore area). It's really a beautiful area.
Please e-mail me if you have any questions about Hawaii. I go there 2-3 times a year for vacation with my husband.
You know what's best for your daughter. Sometimes it takes a moment to sit back and think....maybe if you made a list of all the pro's and all the con's that would help to make the picture clearer?
We're in the middle of a move from Wisconsin to Kentucky. My husband is already in Kentucky. My husband's company pays for me to fly down for a house hunting trip. Our initial plan was to leave the kids in their "set" routine in Wisconsin with the Grandma's. We've decided that even though that this is home, it's different enough to not call it routine. JT is much more clingy with the DH being gone already. So we decided that he is going to fly with me. To us it was worth the risk of an awful flight and some sleepless nights instead of the worry of him being in one state and us being a 10 hour car drive away. But each situation is different.
Good Luck and enjoy Hawaii. I've been a couple of times. The last time we went we took our two oldest when they were quite young, JT wasn't born yet. I was SO worried about the flight, but they did really well. My son did get sick while landing in Honolulu and our daughter finally fell asleep literally 10 minutes before we landed. The flight home was a breeze, they were rested and happy from their vacation, they slept the whole way.
Mom to Cory (12), Gracie (10) and Jake (5 and has DS)