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4 Tips for Traveling with Special Needs Children

gives you a chance to make memories with your family, but planning the trip can
be a daunting task. Whether you’re planning a big vacation or a weekend
getaway, it can be a challenge to find accommodations and activities that make
everyone happy.

If you have
a special needs child, there may be additional health and safety issues that
you have to consider when making your plans.

1. Be Prepared – and Early – for Your Flight

Flying can
be stressful for families, but arriving early and being prepared for your
flight can make things less chaotic.

It’s also
not a bad idea to shop around for the right airline before you even book your
ticket. If your child has autism, for example, finding the right airline can be
a little tricky. Do some research to find an airline that will be able
to accommodate your needs.

Keep in mind
that when flying, wheelchairs, assistive devices and pushchairs are not
considered luggage and do not need to be checked. The airline will be required
to help you stow, board and deplane with these items.

If this will
be your child’s first time on an airplane, it may be best to prepare him or her
for the experience. If your child has a better understanding of how the airport
works and what goes on before you board the plane, it will make the entire
process less stressful. You might consider doing an airport walk-through to
help get your child more comfortable with the idea of flying.

2. Plan for Frequent Stops if You’re Driving

If you’re
planning a road trip, make sure that you stop frequently to prevent meltdowns
and give everyone a chance to stretch their legs. Long road trips can be hard
on anyone, so you’ll want to take your child’s needs and preferences
into consideration here.

Also, it’s a
good idea to limit distracting the driver. You may want to consider having an
adult sit in the back with the kids.

3. Look for Hotels with the Right Amenities

suitable accommodations can be tricky if you have a special needs child. Before
booking your stay, take a closer look at the amenities offered.

Here are
some tips from Reservations.com:

  • If your
    child has a hearing impairment, it’s best to find accommodations in an area
    that’s walkable. Less vehicle traffic immediately near the hotel reduces the
    risk of your little one walking the grounds unaware of approaching cars.
  • Look for
    accessibility features, including ramps and elevators, to accommodate mobility
  • If food
    allergies are a concern, look for a room that comes with a mini fridge,
    microwave, and/or stovetop so you can cook safe meals in your own room.

You can read more about amenities and other tips
for finding the right hotel for your special needs child at Reservations.com.

4. Try to Avoid Overstimulation

can be a problem for any family, and eliminating it can help prevent tantrums.

you’re flying to your destination or traveling by car, you may want to bring
along some sensory processing toys. These toys can help kids decompress while
you’re reaching your destination.

Chewing gum
and oral stimming chewies can help prevent ear popping, which can sometimes
lead to overstimulation and even confusion.

with a special needs child requires some additional planning and preparation,
but it’s worth the effort to make special memories with your family.