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Vacationing with Children with Special Needs

Taking a child with special needs on a vacation is not easy. A lot of children can get nervous or anxious when they experience change. It is terrifying for them to take time out of their room, house, and city -- but if you plan well, you can make the whole vacation worthwhile.
 
1. Communicate to the child about the trip:
 
Before you start preparing for the trip, prepare your children for the trip. Talk to them – tell them why you want to go, things to expect, and so on. If it’s hard for them to understand you then communicate through pictures. Create a storyboard of what the entire vacation will be like. The more you talk about the trip in a positive way, the easier will be for the children to accept the idea of a vacation.
 
2. Pack for Comfort:
 
A week before you plan to leave for the holiday, get a suitcase and place it open in the bedroom of your children. Ask them to put anything they might need on the vacation into the suitcase -- blankets, stuffed animals, favorite toys, anything that will give them comfort during the trip. Make sure you include their favorite foods and books.
 
3. Enable Communication:
 
If your child has trouble communicating, make a picture book that contains pictures of things he/she might want or need: a pillow, a toilet, their favorite dolls/ blanket/toys, certain drinks or snacks, a towel, soap, and the like. Tell them they can get what they want by showing you the picture in the book. The more assured they are that their needs will be met, less nervous they will get.
 
4. Behavior Changes:
 
Even ordinary kids can start behaving differently when on the road than they do normally—usually by acting out. You can handle this change, by giving them rewards when they do something right. Grab a sack full of fun, small surprises to give them every time they behave well-- or when they resist doing something wrong. However, for this to work, your rewards have to be consistent. Experts believe that erratic rewards can cause distrust.
 
5. The Endgame:
 
While it does take a lot of effort and forward-thinking to take your children with special needs on a vacation, if you are prepared and do it right, you will find that the togetherness and stimulation will often lead to your child making better developments. Especially if they lack in social or communication skills or have a low self-esteem. Vacations can definitely be a high-maintenance high-reward attempt for any parent.
 
If you are planning to take a road trip, another way you can ensure comfort and safety of your child is to hire a non-emergency medical transportation. These vehicles are extremely spacious and equipped with state of the art machines that your child may need during the journey.

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