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Helping Autistic Kids Build Confidence Through Travel

A multi color sky with palm trees.  There is pink, blues, yellows, oranges and purples.  There is a title that reads Autism Friendly Travel Helping Autistic Kids Build Confidence through travel.  As a Certified Autism Travel Professional, I am always searching for ways to help autistic families like yours.

As a Certified Autism Travel Professional, I am always searching for ways to help autistic families like yours. After all, I remember when my oldest son was diagnosed with autism. I felt like I had nowhere to turn. Especially when it came to traveling together. And since I love to travel, I knew I needed to find a way to make it as easy as possible for both of us. I already had my travel business, but it was after going through the struggles of traveling with my autistic son, that I decided to focus on helping families with autistic children.

I recently had the honor to be a guest speaker on the podcast, TravelPreneur. I was able to share how my “why” for my business changed after my son’s diagnosis. But that isn’t the only thing we discussed. We also dived deep into how I strive to assist every autistic family who approaches me about travel. There is no cookie-cutter approach to helping these families and I share a little about how I approach each family’s specific needs. Learn all in this blog post and podcast Helping Autistic Kids Build Confidence Through Travel!

Helping Autistic Kids Build Confidence Through Travel

My Spectrum Getaways Story

My travel business had been growing by the time my oldest son was diagnosed with autism. I traveled quite a bit and had resources available to help all my clients. However, then my oldest was diagnosed with autism. (My youngest son has now been diagnosed with autism as well.)

It was during this time that I realized I didn’t have the resources I needed to travel with my autistic child. A trip to Walt Disney World was challenging because I didn’t know what I didn’t know about traveling with an autistic child.

It was at that time, I decided to switch the direction of my business. My new goal would be to help as many autistic families travel the world as possible. But first, I had to figure out how. After all, trying to find the resources for this was almost impossible.

At one point, I finally stumbled across IBCCES, which is the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. I was able to ask them questions and learn about which resources were available for traveling as an autistic family.

I became a Certified Autism Travel Professional, which helps show I really do have the qualifications to help autistic families. Between that certification and my life experience, my clients know that I understand what their needs are. And they know that I get it. I completely understand about meltdowns. I know how important it is to stay on schedule. The list could go on and on.

Focus Points While Preparing Autistic Families for Travel

I couldn’t possibly talk about all the focus points I concentrate on while preparing autistic families for travel in the podcast. It would have been hours long! However, I did discuss elopement. This is when an autistic child runs, or walks, away without letting anyone know. This is very scary and something I know about firsthand.

I also talked a little about how parents of autistic kids should consider loud spaces, and even colors since they can cause overstimulation. Every autistic child is different. So, what one child may struggle with won’t be the same as other children. A big part of what I do involves working with parents to ensure their vacations won’t be overstimulating, or overwhelming, for their children.

This includes focusing on boarding an airplane and flying. I love directing my clients to programs like Wings for Autism. Certain airlines like JetBlue, United, and Allegiant all have similar programs too. During these programs, your autistic child can practice going to the airport, getting on the plane, and even going to the baggage claim. This is a helpful way to ensure your child knows what to expect during this portion of your vacation.

Building Confidence Through Travel

I have heard so many success stories from my clients over the years. My favorite ones are those that share how an autistic child has built confidence through travel. They have learned how to advocate for themselves.

While traveling, autistic children are pushed outside their comfort zones. They need to skip parts of their regular schedule. They are introduced to new foods and new surroundings. And they may find themselves answering questions from another adult or needing to ask another adult a question.

I love it when I hear how an autistic child has built confidence while seeing new destinations. I see it in my own boys when we travel. Yes, there are still struggles, but knowing good things are shining through at the same time makes all those struggles worthwhile!

I have so many future plans for my travel business, but they all include the goal of continuing to help autistic families successfully travel the world. If you are struggling to find a way to travel with your autistic family, or simply want a partner who can guide you and take care of the heavy lifting, contact me. I would love to make sure you have all the resources your family needs in order to be successful anywhere you visit. After all, I always say that travel is for everyone!

A airplane is in a yellow sky.  There is a title that reads Autism Travel Tips for traveling with an autistic child.  read now on the blog.

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