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Travel Tips for Parents of Children with Special Needs


Traveling with children can be challenging and eventful. Preparation and knowledge are the keys to make it smooth and FUN!

Tips to make your trip a successful one.

If you are flying for vacation, explain to your travel agent or ticket agent that you have a special needs child and need to be seated up front and near the bathrooms of the plane. You’re allowed to bring more than the allotted carry-on fluid if it’s clearly labeled as a liquid medication for your child. It’s a good idea to bring a doctor’s note to explain your child’s health issues.

When we travel by vehicle, bring coloring books/crayons, fidget toys, stress balls, reading books, stickers, snacks, water, etc., toys will excite them.

Call hotels ahead of time to make sure they can accommodate your family. Make a list of needed medications, equipment and comfort items.

Best time to travel for your child, you know your child and know which time of day would work best. The most challenging part is when they have to wait and dealing with uncertainty.

Let your children know what you expect from them, prepare a social story on what to expect while traveling on an airplane. Include all the things you know you will encounter on your trip, like immigration services, waiting, running into people from different cultures. Prep them on using the bathroom on an airport and on an airplane, having to stay close to mom and dad and that we can have calm bodies and voices while we are in those situations.

Prepare with visual aids, make your children’s world by giving them all the information. Read books, watch videos and movies on flying an airplane. It can be non-fiction or fiction.

Remember: “Better safe than sorry.”  

Check out our great toys and tools to help make traveling and transitions a little easier, and keep kids in their routine.

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  • Chenne Daig