Now that I am home and in front of a functional keyboard instead of using my phone, I can rave about how flat out remarkable this trip was for Dominic.
First, the travel days - zero issues. No eloping, no stimming, no whining. Followed directions entirely at security on both legs. Yes, we did put angry birds back on the ipad for the first time since August so that he would have something to do during the waiting and flying, but even with that he did amazing. He sat perfectly in his seat with no kicking the seat in front of him (the last few times I have flown with him thats been an issue). He LOVED watching out the window, and handled the turbulence with no issues. On our flight home, we had a flight attendant who brought all the kids snacks - biscotti and when we told her he was allergic to gluten and couldn't have it, she brought a bag of popcorn... which he is allergic to, but she tried so hard that I'm sending a kudo to her VP.
Then the visit - I've posted some pictures and video's already, but wanted to post the stories too.
My parents have a very small house - and the acoustics are such that its very loud when you put 9 people talking, piano being played, cooking happening, etc. *I* was having a hard time with the sensory processing part. We used our tools - sent him outside to play, pulled him into other rooms to do his OT, gave him full access to the ipad, made sure to throw him in the hotel swimming pool for an hour or so each day - and he did great. There were no melt downs and I didn't see any stimming. He used his words pretty well once he got comfortable in the environment. He interacted with his Aunt and Uncle in ways that entirely blew them out of the water. My parents went to extraordinary lengths to feed the lot of us with a pile of food allergies for Dominic and my sister in law and we made it through the weekend with zero food infractions.
We stayed at a Best Western with a suite - so he could sleep in a different room and we could stay up a little later. The funniest part of the whole trip is that he left his little stuffed animals tucked into the sofabed while we were gone and when housekeeping came through, they left them perfectly tucked in. I am sure they got a huge kick out of it.
Even getting home much later than we anticipated last night due to delayed flights and icy roads, he absolutely held it together and today we are doing laundry, footbaths, and making grocery lists.
I am so incredibly pleased at the progress. A year ago this kind of trip would have been much harder to accomplish.