Friday, December 9, 2016

Autism Friendly Vacation Spots

When you are planning a vacation, you might have to make special considerations depending on your family. You might avoid different areas if your child has allergies. You might not want visit a place with water if your child has a fear of it. You may want to plan a vacation to somewhere you can drive to if someone has a fear of flying. Vacations are a very personal experience. It’s not always a one vacation fits all. I know when Noah was younger, we avoided places with characters because Noah was afraid of them. We did go to Disney World but would walk away if there was a character approaching us. We still had fun for the most part. I think he was probably too young still. Age is another important factor. Some trips are best for when your child is older, especially if it’s expensive. Cruises for small children can be hard on them. However, there are places that understand that not all families have the same needs. 

Traveling can be hard, vacations can be hard, if you have a child with special needs, it can be harder. I am only assuming because I don’t have a child with special needs but I wanted to share that there are wonderful places that have this in mind. Here’s some fun places that have made accommodations so everyone has a great time.

Tradewinds Resort in Treasure Island Florida is an Autism friendly resort. They have quite a few ASD activities and are CARD certified. The Guy Harvey Outpost is also Autism friendly, it’s one of my favorite hotels because my family loves Guy Harvey. The staff has CARD training and offer a safety kit with items like outlet covers and a door alarm. They also have special diet options available. If you go to Tradewinds, you should go to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium, home of Winter the Dolphin. Winter has a prosthetic tail, and who doesn’t love dolphins.  

Royal Caribbean is also Autism friendly. They were the first cruise line to become Autism Certified. They offer sensory toys and modified activities and the staff is trained and certified in Autism Awareness.

Dollywood in Pigeon Forge is a great place to visit, it’s very calm. It’s not as busy as other theme parks. There are guides at the Guest Services to let families know if the ride is suitable for special needs. I think that is great that they did that. They have even changed a couple of their rides so they are wheelchair accessible. Dolly Parton is such a caring and giving woman. I need to take Noah to Dollywood soon. I love it there.

Great Wolf Lodge has complete ADA accommodations. Some of the pools have zero entries so it’s easy to get in and out of. They also have equipment to help get those in wheelchairs in the water. They also have tons of lifeguards constantly monitoring everything to make sure everyone is safe.

I support these brands because I love that they include everyone in the fun.  

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