Traveling Is For Everyone
Travel is something everyone wants to do. From weekend getaways, a family vacation, bucket list exotic locations, and retirement goals. Not only is it fun but travel can be beneficial. When you travel, you step outside your comfort zone and experience new places and people. It can boost personal happiness and all these new events and experience rewire your brain.
These benefits are not just for adults but also for kids. Traveling can be a great teacher. Teaches them the ways of the world, history, geography, architecture, and to be adaptable.
Yet despite the positives of traveling, many families with Autism don’t do it! Why? Many just don’t know that it can be done in a way that everyone will enjoy the trip. Many travel companies do not advertise special needs services that they may offer so parents have to know to speak up and ask. Don’t assume you can’t get what your family needs.
Cost can be another deterrent. When you have outside the normal expenses (medical costs, therapies, etc.) the extra cost of a vacation seems out of reach. But with a little research and asking around, there are some places that offer discounts for special needs families. There are also even grants for families to cruise and more!
I have found that with careful planning and organization you can have a successful trip. I’ve shared our Road Trip adventures and how we have been able to Fly With Autism many times. Add additional programs like Wings For Autism and TSA Cares, flying is becoming more stress-free.
The Arc/Wings For Autism
Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® are airport “rehearsals” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders and individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities. The programs are designed to alleviate the stress that families who have a child with autism or intellectual/developmental disabilities experience when flying. It provides families with the opportunity to practice entering the airport, obtaining boarding passes, going through security and boarding a plane. Airport, airline, Transportation Security Administration professionals, and other personnel also have the opportunity to observe, interact, and deliver their services in a structured learning environment.
The Arc’s Wings for Autism®/Wings for All® is sponsored in part by The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism, Inc. The goal of the Flutie Foundation is to help families affected by autism to live life to the fullest. Through programs and partnerships, the foundation helps people with autism get access to care; lead more active lifestyles; and grow toward adult independence. Learn more about the Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation, Inc.
TSA Cares is a helpline that provides travelers with disabilities, medical conditions, and other special circumstances additional assistance during the security screening process. Simply call 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. Travelers requiring special accommodations or concerned about the security screening process at the airport may ask a TSA officer or supervisor for a passenger support specialist who can provide on-the-spot assistance.
Federal Relay: 711
8 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET
9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET
Of course, every autism parent knows we must expect the unexpected; but with preparation, we can let our kids have the joy of travel.
Do you travel with an Autistic child? What resources or tips have you found helpful?