By Kerry Magro, award-winning national speaker, author, and advocate
You wouldn’t believe how many posts I see when spring is just around the corner about families having difficulties with an individual with autism when it comes to public outings! What I often tell families when I’m at a talk is what a dear friend and fellow autism advocate Mandy Farmer once told to me: “We cannot live in fear of the next meltdown, otherwise our children would never experience the world.”
This used to be a common struggle for me growing up on the spectrum, as transitions were especially difficult for me. Other times, sensory issues would make it difficult for me especially in the warmer months to go to beaches because of the texture of sand on my toes or going to parks with the feeling of grass on my feet. Today, thanks to many years of Occupational Therapy, I love to travel and do it often in my work as a professional speaker!
I’m happy to share that our community is beginning to understand more about our kids needs so maybe they can fall in love with travel themselves! With that, I wanted to share a few destinations that have been designated as Certified Autism Centers (CAC) – destinations that you should consider visiting for Spring Break:
- Beaches Resorts – Did you know that Beaches Resorts is a group of all-inclusive family resorts? Along with the staff receiving nationally certified autism training by IBCCES, they even have Julia from Sesame Street (who has autism) for children to interact with. Speaking of Sesame Street…
- Sesame Place (Philadelphia, PA) – A destination that is sure to leave a smile on everyone in your family’s face! Sesame Place is currently the nation’s only theme park based entirely on Sesame Street! Their 2018 Opening Day will kickoff on April 28!
- Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resort & Spa (Dominican Republic) – This international resort will impress you with the amount of activities for children on the spectrum can enjoy! This getaway is perfect for younger kids as their Punta Cana Resort complex has facilities for children from 1-12 full of activities to enjoy!
- Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta, GA) – Love animals? I know many in our community do! Georgia Aquarium is a leading 501c3 non-profit organization that is fun for the whole family! I’ve visited in the past and have to say am impressed by their work, not only having their staff trained but also having awareness events focused on autism (Ex: Light It Up Blue in April for World Autism Month)
I’m curious to hear from you: What’s one of your favorite destination spots to visit that goes above and beyond for those with autism? Let me know by shooting me a message anytime on Facebook here. Happy travels!