Q: "Hi! Thank you so much for your blog; as a Mom to a 3.5 year old, I love to learn as much as I can to help my son. This is such a valuable resource!! Like your family, we are also a "Disney family". We go to Walt Disney World several times a year, and my son (who is a sensory seeker) absolutely thrives there. He sings, dances, laughs, and loves the characters. We are careful to make sure he has plenty of down time. The problem lies after we get back home from our trips. We try to get him back on schedule as quickly as possible, but he has a really hard time adjusting, suffering from multiple meltdowns and increased anxiety for several weeks. He is pre- verbal, so he isn't able to convey his feelings, and has a receptive language delay, so we aren't sure how much he understands. Do you know if there any ways we can help him with the transition once we get back home? Thank you for any travel suggestions you may have!"
A: Hello to you too! I think if you talk to anybody who travels, the Post-Vacation Blues are a very real thing. For some of us though, this can turn into the Post-Vacation Hurricane. Its fantastic to hear that he has a space to thrive like that, as it is so so SO important to provide that to children who are Sensory Seekers. (I like that, I'm going to use that!) What it sounds like is he might be having trouble adjusting to the sudden change in sensory levels, and the change in routine/schedule.
Routine and Schedule are very important at home, making sure that the child has the tools they need to set goals, complete chores/tasks, and know what their day will look like.
What people might not talk about as much, is adjusting Routines for extraordinary circumstances. (Vacation is one example) The first thing I recommend is maybe creating a modified Routine and creating a check list that your son can fill out each day. I don't know your specific Routines, but here are some examples to give ideas.
(Education: There are alot of things to learn in Disney Parks surprisingly, may I suggest World Showcase as a starting point? Healthy Eating: Has to eat so many veggies/fruits/food groups each day. Afternoon naps: Sometimes a good nap during the day helps reset everyone's levels)
Sticking to a modified Routine while on vacation, might help your son more easily reintegrate back into his at home Routine. The second recommendation will be the opposite of the first.
Bring some fun home with you, Spotify has a great selection of not only Disney Movie Music, but also Disney Park Music, which might help bring your son back to that feeling of excitement and peace he felt in the parks.
I don't know your schedule, so I can't make any serious recommendations, but maybe try planning some extra playdates afterwards to release excess energy, go see/rent/buy a movie, go for some extra walks.
Basically, your son is coming from an elevated state after your vacations, so anything that might help him release energy, feel good about himself, or remind him of that time. I hope some of this helped! Anyway, have a fantastic day!