Keeping Your Child Safe: Strategies for Kids Who Wander and Don’t Understand Danger

By Jackie Nunes,

Once a child becomes mobile most parents invest significant effort into childproofing their homes. They watch their little ones like hawks from the time they can roll over and scooch through the crazy days of toddlerhood. But by the time their kids reach kindergarten, many parents can breathe a little bit easier and know that their kids are less apt to fall into physical danger through exploration.

That isn’t the case for many parents of children with autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, and other special needs. Parents of kids who wander and don’t understand danger often have to remain hyper-vigilant forever and use a number of approaches to keep their kids safe. How do you protect a child who wanders off, runs across the street without looking, shares personal details with strangers, or puts themselves at risk of injury? We have some tips.

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Managing Expectations When Traveling

family travel autismContributed by: Melissa A. Rowan – Certified Autism Travel Professional, Travel Consultant | Make Incredible Memories Travel 

Children giggling and whispering contentedly in the backseat of the car with nary an argument.  Cherubic children sleeping peacefully in their beds – where they went without a fuss –  after a full day of sightseeing.  A day in the amusement park without a single tear, cross word, or disagreement amongst family members.   Precious …and extended moments with Big Bird or Elmo.  Every family member eating everything on their plate and not a bite of wasted food.  All family members equally interested in every event and activity planned on the vacation.

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Parent Perspective: The zoo is a perfect outing for kids with autism

by: Nicole Thibault, CATP – Magical Storybook Travels

When my son was first diagnosed with Autism, even leaving the house was a challenge. My son’s meltdowns often happened in public, where sensory overloads of sights and sounds would often overwhelm him. Even a quick trip to a grocery store could lead to a meltdown.

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The Positive Impact Animals Can Have On People With Autism

Child with kitten autism

By: Kerry Magro, best-selling author, speaker, and disability advocate

In honor of Elmwood Park Zoo (officially becoming the first zoo in the world to become a Certified Autism Center) and Santa Barbara Zoo (first zoo on the West Coast to become a CAC), I wanted to discuss a topic that often doesn’t get mentioned: the benefits of interactions with animals for individuals with autism.


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Summer Camp Tips

By Kerry Magro, award-winning national speaker, author, and advocate

To pick the best summer camp options for your loved one on the autism spectrum, try to gather as much information as possible ahead of time. Here are some questions and considerations when choosing a summer camp.

Autism-Certified Destinations You Should Visit For Spring Break

family on beach autism travel

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.”  

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Travel Anxiety Attacks

child with autism travel anxiety

by: Nicole Thibault, CATP – Magical Storybook Travels

It’s probably a given that if your child has an Autism diagnosis, he or she most likely struggles with anxiety as well. They kinda go hand-in-hand.

Anxiety while traveling is a real struggle for families with children on the Spectrum. You’re away from home, outside the child’s comfort zone, going to places with different sensory experiences, trying new foods and more. All of these factors can be overwhelming for someone with Autism and anxiety.

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Are Autism Parents “Cautious Travelers?”

by: Nicole Thibault, CATP – Magical Storybook Travels

In 2017, the Family Travel Association (FTA) released a study called, “Learning More About Today’s Modern Traveling Family.” In this study, the Family Travel Association identified three kinds of family travelers: The Hassle-Free Traveler, the Intrepid Traveler, and the Cautious Traveler.

The FTA says that the “Cautious Travelers” have been identified as wanting to visit new places and like to travel to experience different cultures. But they do worry about safety, and since they find it hard to identify appropriate activities for their children, they are the most likely to visit theme parks. These parents feel that travel strengthens family bonds, but may be too nervous to leave their comfort zones.

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More holiday travel tips

Submitted by Taveesha Guyton

The holiday season is upon us, and this usually means travel plans.  If you are a parent traveling with children, this can be stressful. If you are a parent traveling with a child with special needs such as Autism, a family’s stress level can be magnified.  Here are a few tips to help families traveling with children who have special needs:

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Travel Tips from TSA

Shared with permission from Susan Buckland, TSA

I am writing to share some important tips to help you better prepare for security screening at our Nation’s airport screening checkpoints for the 2017 holiday traveling season. Wait times and long lines are expected to increase as more people travel during the holidays. With this in mind, the following tips may help you better prepare for screening:

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