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  • Writer's pictureChristine McCarty

Vacationing with a special needs child…

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

Vacationing should be fun, relaxing and not stressful. However when traveling with kids, we call it a trip, not a vacation - Ha!

Now add the layer of having a special needs child and the trip/vacation seems like a disaster waiting to happen. If I can do it, anyone can! Here are my tips in selecting and having enjoyable trips/vacations:

Selecting a Location

This is probably the hardest part…where to go that will accommodate everyone! Pick a place that is enjoyable for the entire family. Our family tends to like warm weather and being by a pool/beach so I pick places that have one or both. Then select a place/experience that can accommodate both typical and special needs children. Yes, there are places like this!

Listed below are some of these places:

  1. Beaches Is Home To The Caribbean’s First Autism-Friendly Kids Camps. Beaches has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), a global leader in online training and certification programs.

  2. We have not tried Beaches yet, but we are booked to go next spring break in 2023! YES – I’ve already booked Spring Break 2023 😉

  1. The Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding program works in cooperation with Park City Mountain Resort, Canyons Resort, Deer Valley Resort and Brighton to provide quality lessons in an exceptional setting. All instructors are specially-trained in adaptive techniques for 3-Track, 4-Track, Mono-Ski, Bi-Ski and guiding skiers who are blind. Our instructors are also well-versed in techniques to teach individuals with intellectual disabilities and individuals who are deaf or hearing impaired.

  2. This one is on our list and was recommended/endorsed by good friends who have been multiple times and raved about it.

  1. Disney Parks have an unwavering commitment to providing a welcoming, inclusive environment with accessible experiences for Guests. As part of this commitment, Disability Access Service (DAS) is a program offered at Walt Disney World theme parks to assist Guests who have difficulty tolerating extended waits in a conventional queue environment due to a disability.

  2. We just returned from here and this was our fourth trip. They just know how to accommodate and make special need kids have a magical experience no matter what!

  1. At Adam’s Camp, unique therapy and adventure programs are designed and delivered by dedicated therapists and counselors who help special needs children, youth and adults reach for the stars. These programs are combined with sibling and parent offerings that address the needs of the entire family and have created an amazing and supportive community for our participant families, our partners, and our sponsors.

  2. Again, on our list, but was suggested from good friends who have done it and raved about it.

Lastly, here are some tips that I have learned along the way!

  1. Call the hotel/resort/rental property ahead of time to let them know you have a special needs child. You would be surprised on what hotels/resorts even rentals have to offer.

  2. No ask is too strange or silly! I have asked for furniture to be removed from rooms, mattresses to be placed on floors, no balconies, etc.

  3. Try and keep some routine for your special needs child. It might be tough for them to be away from home/their surroundings. When I put in place some sort of predictable routine for Addy; she tends to enjoy herself more, and in turn so do I!

Remember, vacations/trips are meant to be enjoyable and a break from everyday life!

Much love,

Raising Addy

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