Traveling with your Children

By Diana Yazhbina M.S., CCC-SLP

When traveling with your children one plans for a time full of adventure, laughter and endless memories. Unfortunately, there are many parents with children on the spectrum disorder who are afraid to embark on a journey beyond their own communities. Travel is not always easily achieved when your child requires organized structure due to a disorder. Venturing out to unfamiliar surroundings for a child with Autism can be a scary thing, but if you properly choose your accommodations the experience can be wonderful for both parents and child. Children prefer predictability, especially with vacations which can be over-stimulating for a child who is sensitive to this sensation. Traveling with a child who has autism should only lead you to a road of finding the best journey to accommodate your family and their needs. As you continue to read, I hope you begin to understand that an all-inclusive hotel will be the solution you need to make your memorable family getaway.

Having a staff of trained ASD professionals could be the first step to help you plan what activities will suit your child and family’s needs. Make sure to contact this person prior to planning your trip, so you can begin to familiarize your child on an adventure they’ll embark. Inquire about augmentative communicating devices the resort may offer, from a simple picture communication board to an AAC device, this can make a world of difference.

Feeding needs could be met and tailored to each family’s needs, based on how much or little privacy they may need to make each meal enjoyable. Perhaps you will have the luxury of having a culinary concierge which can offer you tips, tools and new methods to making the feeding experience more enjoyable when it can be daunting at many times. Likewise, a specialist may offer their expertise and opinions on methods that your family is already using. This can be a great take away experience for everyone in the family.

Diana has been a speech therapist for the past 6 years working with children on varying levels of the Spectrum, she is a professional resource for Autism Travel.