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“Putting Development

Before The Disability”

Exceptional Vacations Provides High Quality

Vacations for Individuals with Developmental

Disabilities and Other Special Needs.

Exceptional Vacations is a division of Exceptional Services Group

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Traveling with a Child with Autism

There are many things to consider when you are traveling with an individual with autism. Mainly, the more you prepare the better off you’ll be.

Flying can be particularly tricky. However, the airlines and airports are making strides in accommodating individuals with autism. When you identify yourself at the airport the gate agents, flight attendants and even the pilots may be made aware. Many airlines now offer a dry run boarding. Check with your local airport to see if any of the airlines are offering the flight experiences (without the flight part). Also, some airlines (JetBlue is one) have instituted autism-friendly policies, such as letting families with autistic children skip security lines and pre-board. And, such efforts on the parts of the airlines keep expanding. The TSA has created an online guide for air travelers with autism or intellectual disabilities. You can view that here: http://www.tsa.gov/traveler-information/autism-or-intellectual-disabilities

I have seen many improvements made in the 10+ years that I have been arranging travel for people with disabilities. There is still much room for improvement but it is getting better.

I’ve heard of families bringing a back up I-Pad just in case the first one runs out of battery or breaks, etc. You know your family better than anyone so determine what will make the travel go smoother and bring any items necessary, and even back-up for those items.

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse. The dry runs at the airport are a great tool. And, the earlier and more you travel the easier it gets. Children with autism can greatly benefit from travel. Make it an educational experience. Children learn so much more by seeing, feeling and smelling the history, etc. Accept that things will go wrong and don’t be afraid to acknowledge when it is happening.