Addressing the concerns and problems in the prior question on 8/2/19 with the interview with a Mom with special needs children. Here are some ways to help with the travel plans.
1-What is your biggest challenge for family travel? Making your child feel safe & Comfortable.
If possible talk to and explain what is happening Also, try to keep to their regular schedule whenever possible because their is comfort in routine for many.
2-What is your first thought when you think of family travel? STRESS
Sadly, stress will always be part of travel plans. I find that by having a plan it helps to lower the stress BUT, make sure to build in FLEXIBILITY as this is key!
3-Do you have any additional assistance or help you enlist for travel? Respite & Community Habilitation Workers
Here is a link for them: https://pepservices.org/home-and-community-programs/services/in-home-and-community-habiliation/
4-What do you like best for family travel? Locations 2-3 hours away.
Get to know the places you can go that are closer to home. If going further make sure to check what is available to do and what your children can enjoy.
5-Do you use a checklist for packing? YES!!
I HIGHLY recommend packing lists! Having a packing list for basic travel and for in the parks at Disney. We recommend using these or making your own and using it. You can also update the list as needed. If you have what you need it will make your life better.
6-Do you have a go to app or website for travel? No
Here are a couple websites to check out: https://www.parentingspecialneeds.org/article/traveling-tips-for-parents-of-children-special-needs/ , http://www.minitime.com/p/Your-Guide-to-Planning-a-Vacation-for-Special-Needs-Kids-article , I like this one as it talks about preparing them for air travel: https://cshcn.org/resources-contacts/air-travel-preparation-children-with-special-needs/
7-Do you use a travel agent? If no, what do you use? No
Its highly recommend using one. BUT, not just any Travel Agent. Find one that specializes in children with special needs that understands how best to help. Locally Vibrant Vistas Travel is great. They are certified to help you with the special needs. Dee Cucinotta will be a wonderful asset for you. She can even help you with navigating the airport issues. Here is her link: https://deecucinotta.inteletravel.com/booktravel.cfm
8-What 3 things (words of wisdom) would you give to other special needs Mom’s? Understand and know your expectations and how flexibility can help you.
1-Get help when you need it! 2-If you need additional information hire a professional 3-Do your research as to what is available for services for you and your child.
9-Do you have any websites you would recommend for traveling with children with special needs?
See answers in question 6 to list just a few. Google can be our friend and provide great information. I recommend speaking with a Travel agent who specializes in this. Their are many groups in Facebook that you can join to chat with people who understand and can offer help or advise what has worked for them.
Here is a link for Disney to help you: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/guest-services/cognitive-disabilities-services/
Seaworld has a certified Autism Center: https://seaworld.com/orlando/help/certified-autism-center/ https://seaworld.com/orlando/help/guests-with-disabilities/
Universal Studios has help as well: https://www.universalorlando.com/web/en/us/plan-your-visit/accessibility-information
I hope this helps you to plan and have a wonderful vacation, wherever your life takes you!