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Seeing the World with a Special Needs Child - Family Days Out

familyDaysOut May 31, 2018

Travel for All: Seeing the World with a Special Needs Child

Written by Family Days Out correspondent Jennifer McGregor


There are few things greater than getting off the couch and out into the great big wide world. However, children with special needs often miss out on experiences beyond their hometown. But it is possible to travel with a disabled child if you make preparations well in advance. Here are a few tips to get you started:


Ask the airport for accommodations. Before you book your plane tickets, double check with the airport and make sure they will be able to accommodate your child’s needs. For instance, if they are in a wheelchair, make prior arrangements to have an airport representative help your child get from the security checkpoint to the plane.


Make your home safe and secure. All travelers should take steps to ensure their home is safe and secure while they are away. HomeAdvisor offers numerous tips on vacation home security, including unplugging appliances, locking the doors, and cleaning out the fridge and pantry.


Consider a home swap. Believe it or not, you are not the only family with a special-needs child that wishes to travel. Consider signing up for a home exchange with a family whose child has similar needs as your own. The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality explains that home swapping is a more budget-minded option than staying at a hotel, which may not be set up to accommodate issues such as sensory disorders.


Talk to your child about what’s happening. Depending on your child’s disability, he or she may need to mentally, physically, and emotionally prepare for the trip. USA Today explains that hurdles for parents with special needs children include everything from finding the right foods to avoiding issues that can cause distress. Talk to your child beforehand and make sure they are aware that you are doing everything in your power to make the trip as safe and comfortable for him as possible, but there may be moments where the journey is uncomfortable.