April 30, 2023, Travel and Leisure: These Certified Autism Resorts Offer Inclusive Programming for Neurodiverse Guests https://www.travelandleisure.com/certified-autism-resorts-for-nuerodiverse-travelers-7484845
Around the world, these certified autism resorts are going the extra mile for neurodiverse guests.
Families traveling with a child with autism usually have a good idea of what they need to have a successful vacation. They often look for destinations where they can create a predictable schedule, have access to preferred foods, participate in activities geared toward the child’s interest, and where it’s possible to take sensory breaks away from the crowds.
Not that long ago, families had no way of knowing if where they were heading would welcome or shun their autistic child. Now, more locations are working to be more inclusive.
(With one in 100 children diagnosed with autism, it's frankly about time.)
Some places offer autism-friendly features, while others go further and become Autism Certified. And while places without a certification can be fantastic, a certification assures families that the location is especially well-equipped to meet the needs of neurodiverse guests. …
As the parent of an autistic child, it’s often hard to relax — even on vacation. My trip to Beaches Turks & Caicos was the first vacation I have taken in years where I felt I could let my guard down completely.
All Beaches resorts are autism certified, which gave me a lot of confidence when planning my trip. They pioneered autism-friendly kids camps and consistently renew their certification to stay up-to-date. Even outside of the kids’ club, the staff is trained in how to interact with guests with autism with care and sensitivity….
The JW Marriott Orlando Bonnet Creek Resort & Spa — located in the vicinity of a handful of theme parks — has a sensory calming corner, noise-reducing headphones, a Lego wall, textured pillows and blankets, and other soothing elements. There are also several on-site activities, including pools, a climbing wall, and daily activities that make it a great option for days when a family needs to stay on the property.
Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas is an autism-friendly resort located on the aptly named Paradise Island. Nooks and crannies perfect for sensory breaks are built into several of the resort's attractions, including the massive Dig and Predator Lagoon….
Lego is committed to supporting neurodiverse children through representation in their toys. Many young Lego enthusiasts dream of a trip to a Legoland Resort, which includes themed amusement parks and on-site hotels.
All Legoland Resorts are autism-certified so their staff has had training about how to be supportive of neurodiverse guests. Plus, every ride at the parks have a sensory guide that was developed with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standard. (There are three parks: Legoland California in Carlsbad, California; Legoland Florida in Winter Haven, Florida; and Legoland New York in Goshen, New York.)…
Great Wolf Lodge is an indoor waterpark, entertainment center, and hotel rolled into one — with 23 locations across the United States....
Karisma Hotels and Resorts has an impressive range of resorts in Mexico with different themes and price points — and all are autism-certified with highly trained staff….
The autism-certified Hyatt Regency Aqaba Ayla is set among tranquil mountains and lagoons, which is a setting many people with autism find soothing. Staff is trained in autism sensitivity and awareness, which helps them better support neurodiverse guests. The resort’s on-site Camp Hyatt has a sensory-friendly room, vibrating animals, and a climbing wall.
Royal Caribbean partnered with Autism on the Seas to make select sailings autism friendly. Autism on the Seas helps with planning and ensures necessary supports are in place before boarding….