In Sunday’s New York Times there is a great article called “Bypassing the Roadblocks of Autism,” dealing with the challenges of traveling with a child with autism spectrum disorder.While most people look forward to a vacation with it’s new vistas, surroundings, food and routines, many families traveling with children with autism face a daunting task of providing some well-established routines to help their child feel secure. Long lines, masses of travelers, new schedules for eating and sleeping can throw off their child and make the trip less than relaxing.
This article chronicles different family’s experiences on cruises and at resorts where the destinations have made accommodations for children with autism. How exciting that after hotels and resorts began accommodating people with physical disabilities, that they are now tailoring travel experiences for people with autism. Families share their experiences of taking cruises on a Royal Caribbean liner (Autism on the Seas Liner) with special arrangements to bypass lines and large groups of people, eat together in a dining area and even participate in drop-off programs for the kids. Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont has a program for children with special needs where kids are grouped according to development, so they can experience the greatest enjoyment out of the programs.
Check out the article online and the comments that parents are leaving–relating their own experiences of travel with an autistic child and even some good parent tips on easing the anxiety of travel. Kudos to the resorts and hotels who are going out of their way to educate themselves and their staff to provide a much needed vacation for these families!