With summer finally here, many children are looking forward to their time out of school. This season is also a popular time for road trips, traveling, and planning vacations. These adventures can be a great way to see new places, make memories, and spend quality time with family.
Just because your child has special needs or a disability does not mean that they should have to forgo a summer trip with their family! While it may require a bit more preparation and work, it is possible to plan a terrific vacation for your special needs child and for the entire family. Here are five tips to keep in mind when planning your summer travels!
Don’t Let Fear Stop You
If you are a parent with a special needs child, it’s natural to be a bit scared of taking your child away from their home and out of their everyday routine. After all, children with special needs often rely on consistency and structure in their lives. With that said, you should never let fear stop you from helping your child live the best life possible. While the road may be challenging, a little preparation can go a long way in easing many of your fears or reservations.
Consult With Your Child’s Physician
Before you plan any type of vacation, you will want to ensure that it is plausible and safe for your child with special needs. Call your child’s physician and ask them for any recommendations, tips, or any type of special items that you should pack for your child. Some of these essential items may include:
- A list of prescription medications your child is taking and times they should be taken
- The doctor’s description of your child’s specific needs or disabilities
- Medical recommendations in the area you are visiting, in the event of an emergency
- Health insurance cards and the doctor’s contact information
Plan Ahead of Time
Planning the details of your trip well in advance can help reduce your stress levels and avoid any potential problems that could derail your vacation. This is even more important when traveling with special needs children, as they may require more accommodations or rest breaks throughout the day.
Create a timeline of what you will be doing each day and how you will be getting to the destination. Ensure that you find transportation ahead of time for your child’s specific needs, be it in the form of a car, bus, or airplane.
According to American Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines, locations in the U.S. are required to provide accommodations for those in wheelchairs or with other forms of physical disability. However, don’t expect that other countries will adhere to the same exact guidelines. Don’t be afraid to ask questions—call places ahead of time to find out specific information!
Make Lists of Items to Pack
Always pack extras of everything that your child may need, including socks, shirts, or medication. Additionally, ensure that your child has their favorite toy or security blanket to help stay comforted and stress less during the trip. If you are going someplace more rural, you may want to look up where the nearest hospital and pharmacy are located in case your child needs medical assistance or a medication refill.
Lastly, even with all the right planning, life can throw you some unexpected curveballs. The most important tip we can give you during your summer travels is to simply be flexible. If things don’t go your way, don’t let yourself become frustrated or overwhelmed for too long. It’s okay if things aren’t perfect. What matters is that you continue going forward and enjoy the time with your child and entire family.
At The Law Firm of Michael H. Bereston, Inc., our Annapolis birth injury attorneys are dedicated to protecting the families of those whose children have suffered harm due to the negligence of a doctor or other medical provider. Let us fight for your family’s future so you can focus on healing together.
To schedule a free consultation with lead attorney, Michael Bereston, contact our team at (410) 220-6581 at your earliest convenience. We serve clients throughout Maryland and Washington D.C., and take nationwide clients on a case-by-case basis.