Help For Families Traveling With A Special Needs Child!
Let me start by saying my children are not special needs, but I have gathered some information that hopefully will help families with a special needs child. Special needs children each have individual concerns and during vacations can add to cost and stress. I hope to give you some ideas and ways to relax and enjoy your family vacation with your entire family. My granddaughter, Betty, was born 10 weeks early, she is a special needs child that will need a lot of surgery as she grows up. But she is also a child that loves her family and loves having fun like any other child.
Call the hotel ahead of time and find out what they may have available to make it easier while you are there. Are there hospitals close and do they offer services you may need? Local hospitals may offer rental or loans of items you may need. Is there some new equipment out there that you want to try before you purchase, this is a great time to rent that equipment without having to pay a lot of money out.
Find out if there is any type of respite care centers that you could take advantage of for a few hours to relax. Do they have the right staff and what is the cost for care. Are there other places where you can take your family that also offers activities for special needs children? Is there a beach, pool, etc at the hotel that has the needed equipment for your special needs child? What about accessible beds and bathrooms? Snapology.com has a lot of fun programs that included special needs children and they have locations in a variety of locations.
If you are flying you can ask ahead for seating that will help you, near a bathroom, or perhaps near an exit. Rental car companies have vans with wheelchair access also, so make for sure you ask before booking. Some cities have special transportation services for special needs citizens, it may be worth a call to the city hall to check it out. Try to schedule in advance rides from the airport and to the places you will be visiting. Call the hotel and shuttle bus companies to see what is available to make traveling places easier.
Medication that is liquid may need to go by standard airport rules, but by declaring before travel, carrying a doctor’s note and new prescription if needed, you may be eligible for the quantity needed. I always carry the new prescription with me so if my luggage gets lost I at least have my medicine. Check with your insurance company to make for sure your child will be covered in another state and which facilities are covered in the vacation area.
While going from home to your vacation residence, try to bring things the child loves, favorite toys, pillow or blanket. Talk about things during travel time that are familiar, relax, or distract the child. Bring fun activities you think your child will enjoy. Bring noise cancelling headphones and an mp3 player if the child gets upset with loud noises.
While doing all this planning make for sure you make time for yourself. Relax and don’t feel guilty. Let your spouse do some extra things, take a long walk and enjoy the scenery, take a long bath, or just enjoy seeing how happy your family is. Not everything will be perfect, but you can handle little things as they come up as long as you have prepared for the ones you know will.
A lot of the places you may visit offer visitors bureau information that will help make it easier for you. For example look how great Charleston‘s is. There are so many websites that offer more useful information from their personal experience. USA Today has a helpful article also. There is help for everyone so take your time to plan and find information before you arrive, then relax and enjoy your family like never before! Each time this will get easier so plan on extra time to prepare you first exciting trip.
This post is a partnership with Nakturnal.