Vacation season is approaching quickly, and you likely are hoping to solidify your plans for a family trip soon. Planning a vacation that fits the needs of your child with Autism can be a tricky endeavor. Many vacation destinations geared towards family fun tend to be overstimulating for children with Autism and can be easy spots to get lost in. Fortunately, more and more vacation destinations are taking intentional steps to make their experience suitable for children with special needs.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
This cruise line has been a top choice for many vacationers for years and has now become the first official Autism-friendly cruise line as of 2014. The crew of their ships are all required to be trained in Autism awareness along with other special needs. The cruise line features programs specified for children with ASD, such as autism-friendly movies, sensory engaging activities, and an environment that won’t be overstimulating.
Tradewinds Island Resort
This St. Pete Beach, Florida resort is CARD (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) certified and has staff that is trained and prepared to assist with families who have children with Autism. The rooms include safety kits that include corner covers, door alarms, outlet covers, and more to help parents set up their room specifically for their child’s safety needs. You can also download a social book from their website designed to prepare your child for the stay.
Surfside Beach, SC
The resort town of Surfside Beach, South Carolina officially became the first Autism-friendly town in the world in 2016. The town hosts a variety of fun activities for the whole family, such as watersports, rides, and restaurants, all with staff trained to assist families with children on the Autism spectrum.
Franklyn D. Resort and Spa
This all-inclusive resort is located in Runaway Bay, Jamaica, and offers up to 50% off deals year round for families with special needs. In addition to the killer deal, the resort provides a personal nanny trained in dealing with special needs to allow time for the parents to slip away for a special date night knowing their child is in good hands.
Another all-inclusive resort destination, this chain has locations in Turks, Caicos, and Jamaica. The resort offers specially designed kids camps for children with special needs with trained staff. All of the restaurants even include alternative ingredients to cater to special dietary needs. The kids programs even include the character Julia from Sesame Street, the first character with Autism that was introduced in 2017.
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