Tip: Before You Leave Home

  • Show pictures of your destinations and talk about what you are going to do on your trip. If possible, make a picture book and count down the days on a calendar at least two weeks prior to leaving.
  • Always inquire if theme parks have special passes or points of entry for children with special needs. Call in advance to a guest relations representative for this information.
  • Prepare for loud noises by having earplugs or headphones to mute the sounds for children who have sensory issues, when visiting crowed venues.
  • Practice and simulate what will occur at airport security points. Pack familiar toys like crayons, Legos, PlayDough, DVD for entertainment on board. Be sure to offer drinks, gum or hard candy especially if the child cannot tell you he is experiencing pain from pressure in his ears.
  • Plan to stay one night in a local hotel or arrange for an overnight stay before attempting longer stays. Arrange for adjoining rooms and bring familiar bedding and/or blankets, if possible. Rooms at the end of a floor are typically quieter.
  • Plan activities that especially interest the child. Avoid meltdowns by limiting the number of things you do each day and allow for plenty of downtime.