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  • Writer's pictureChristine McCarty

Vacations...part 2

Welcome 2023! We hope everyone had an amazing time with family and friends as they took time (like we did) away from everyday life. However, taking time away from everyday life with a special needs child can be extremely challenging since we ALL rely on routine regardless of what we say. So how did it go?

Well, my family and I just got back from an amazing vacation that I want to share with all of you. Not only did we love the resort (Baha Mar – link below), but we also (Addy included) really took time to relax (e.g., play, swim and go off routine). I have to say, this was one of the most rewarding and relaxing vacations we have ever taken. Could it be that Addy and all my girls are older, more mature? Yes, but it was more than that. When you have the right atmosphere and mindset, anything is possible - even relaxing on a trip (I mean vacation) with kids! Someone told me long ago when your kids are with you…it’s a trip! When it’s you and your husband or you and your friends, it’s a vacation 😊

Below are some tips (updated from this most recent trip) as well as places to go with a special needs child.


  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. This time the hotel gave us drink tickets so mom and dad could have some fun as well!

  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, but nothing to stringent. I normally keep to a schedule like downtime/nap time, but if the girls were having fun and no meltdowns were insight, I would let them play and put them to bed a little earlier.

  4. The key to success, especially on this trip, was tiring everyone out with fun activities like swimming, games, even walking on the beach/resort. I know this may sound crazy, but it worked out better for Addy than keeping her to a strict schedule.


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; consequently, 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. Baha Mar – Located on the pristine white sands of Cable Beach in Nassau, Baha Mar is The Bahamas newest luxury resort destination. Choose from three iconic oceanfront hotels —the richly refined Rosewood, the playfully hip SLS, or the stylish and modern Grand Hyatt— each offering stunning views and an epic selection of pools. Then inspired by the natural beauty of The Bahamas, Baha Bay perfectly fuses relaxing island chill with exhilarating fun for the entire family. The luxe water park is set on 15 lush beachfront acres directly adjacent to Baha Mar. Guests enjoy unlimited access to Baha Bay during their stay. With an array of spectacular experiences and tantalizing cuisine, however you like to play in the sun, it awaits you at Baha Bay.

    1. We just came back from here (stayed at the Grand Hyatt) and loved it! The place was exquisite. Yes, large, but that made an adventure all in itself. Between the 10+ pools, flamingos, bird and fish sanctuaries, beach, and the water park; the kids had the time of their life. Food was a bit pricey, but we found that sharing meals for the kids (especially for lunch) as well as getting rooms with free breakfast was the way to go! The staff was great about Addy and were able to accommodate all asks/needs I threw at them. I promise, your kids will have the time of their lives and so will you!

  2. Beaches Resorts – 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.

    1. We have not tried Beaches yet, but we are booked to go next spring break in 2023!

  3. National Ability Center – 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.

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

  4. Disney – 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.

    1. We just returned from here and this was our fourth trip. They just know how to accommodate and make special needs children feel just like everyone else no matter what!

  5. Adams Camp – 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.

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

Remember, vacations/trips are meant to be enjoyable and a break from everyday life! If I can relax on vacation, anyone can!

Much love,

Raising Addy

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