Taking a family vacation is an incredibly exciting time, but getting to your destination can be a challenge, particularly if you have to fly. Navigating airports, boarding the plane, and gathering your luggage can present unique challenges when you have a child with special needs. We’ve put together some tips for you to make traveling an easier process for you and your family.
Traveling with a child with disabilities
- Plan ahead. Call the airport and airline officials in advance to check on things that are important to you and your child. If your child isn’t accustomed to crowds and a lack of privacy, find out where people with disabilities can receive their security screening. When speaking with the airport, security, or airline personnel, don’t use highly technical terms. By law, “disabled” or “special needs” is all you are required to say.
- Give your family adequate time. Get to the airport early, and when you’ve passed through security, leave plenty of time to walk around and get acclimated to the high-sensory input environment. Getting a little exercise can also help tire your child out for a long plane flight.
- Schedule flights strategically. Make sure you have scheduled your flight, if at all possible, at one of the calmest and most typically serene times of your child’s day. If your child still naps at a reasonable time, booking your flight during that time would be advised.
- Prepare for picky eaters. It is also best to make sure that you have adequate snacks or meals planned for your child, as picky eaters tend to shy away from airport and airplane food.
- Keep your child occupied. Long flights can be difficult for a child with special needs. Let your child pick a movie, book, or self-contained toy to play with on the airplane.
Our team at Tiny Tots Therapy loves to work with schools, families, and individuals, in order to provide the best family therapy in New Jersey. Our child-focused care is cutting edge, and our clients and instructors have had great results. As one of the most trustworthy and well-regarded therapy practices in New Jersey, we have locations throughout the state. To learn more about what Tiny Tots can do for your child, call us at 1-888-951-TOTS (8687).