Spring break is upon us and what better way to spend all this free time than by going on full vacation mode? A change of scenery should be great but it may be extra challenging if your kids are on the spectrum as this also means a change in routine. As most kids in the spectrum, a routine is their comfort zone, when this is disrupted it may cause stress, anxiety and sensory overload.
Traveling with kids with ASD can be unpredictable and comes with a set of difficulties and frustrations, both on you and for other travelers. This doesn’t mean you won’t have a fun time. You can consider places which are autism-friendly, places that can understand and can be flexible to accommodate your child’s needs.
If you’re looking at vacation ideas on where to spend your spring break, here are some that are autism-friendly. Each child has different needs but autism-friendly places also mean that they have a better understanding and will do their best to accommodate your child and your family.
The crowds and the noise can be too overwhelming for a child with ASD, add the long waiting time in line and it might result to a meltdown. Disney parks offer a DAS (Disability Access Service) pass which can be given at Guest Relations. It can give you less waiting time and cast members do their best to accommodate and give your child the convenience he/she needs. Just ask any Disney cast members and they can definitely assist you in line or even suggest rides/attractions suitable for your child’s needs.
Camping is budget-friendly and the serenity of nature can provide a calming environment for your child. There are quite a good number of special needs- friendly campsites in the country. Sites like AcaCamps (American Camp Association) offer a comprehensive set of questions to ask for your needs. It will give you the most suitable results from their extensive list of campsites all over the country.
Resorts like Myrtle Beach, Tradewinds Island Resorts in Florida, and Beaches Caribbean Resorts are some of the places for your family to enjoy the beach and provide an all-inclusive service catering to families traveling with kids on the spectrum. These resorts have designated trained staff to ensure proper service is given. They also provide activities which cater to different kinds of needs – just ask the resort in advance and some of them will even customize their activities for you.
A cruise to the Bahamas? What a perfect way to definitely spend your vacation. Good news is that autism-friendly cruises are already available. The ship is fully equipped with activities and staff that cater to children with Autism. Autism on the Seas has tons of scheduled staff assisted cruises. Each cruise offer sensory friendly activities, dietary needs assistance, staff assisted excursions, and other options to ensure your child has a fun and comfortable time on board.
- Researching and planning ahead of time is the key.
- Since you know your child’s specific needs, ask all the necessary questions before you eventually make the booking.
- Prepare a Plan B ahead of time just in case.
- Prepare a checklist of everything you need for your travel
- Re-confirm everything you’ve booked with the resort/company at least 2 weeks before traveling.
- Have fun!
Some trip essentials
Bring this to your next camping or flight for your child to have a relaxing sleep. Weighted blankets offer a comfort especially for sensory seekers who craves a gentle sensory input.
Ideal during long road trips, these are good to keep your kids’ hands busy and can provide calm and focus for the entire journey.
Chewing Bracelets or Necklaces
If your child is a chewer, these are great to divert their oral sensory needs saving their shirts or even avoiding injuries while on your trip.