April works full time in higher education balancing her time between her special needs son, handsome husband, elderly mother, and new baby coming in May 2014. She has a background in theatre, film, and television but somehow stumbled into the educational field. She loves spending time with her family, dreaming of the beach and organizing her house.

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Vacation Planning, Part 1

Most families at some point in time take a vacation. Planning for one with a special needs child is a huge undertaking, but not impossible with a little extra planning.

When we choose our locations for vacation, we try to think of how it will:

A) Impact our son educationally

B) His and our level of fun

C) Level of chaos it will create

D) How much extra work and/or stress it will create for us as parents.

It is important to us to come back somewhat refreshed and rejuvenated even if traveling with our son can be a challenge at times.  When our son was not able to climb out of the pack n play, it wasn’t so difficult to travel with him.  It is now a huge undertaking.

We generally do our travel by vehicle since we live so close to California and due to financial constraints, it is the cheapest vacation for us.  Most of our family and friends live there, so our vacations are also times to see the family.   But if you fly with kids, it creates an extra special challenge.

Last year we went to San Diego.  We did not anticipate our son refusing to sleep in the pack n play and being able to climb out of his bed around the same time.  Thankfully, our hotel room was equipped with 2 double beds so the vacation wasn’t a total loss.  The first night in the hotel room was horrible.  Needless to say, we did not sleep well.

SeaWorld was just what we needed to help wear him out.  It only took a little time to get him down and then we could crash.  We ended up not going to a couple of places that week because we needed some down time.  The manic night times were taking a toll on all of us.  By the time we returned home, all of us were exhausted and it took our son almost 3 weeks to obtain some sense of normalcy again.

We have vowed not to repeat our mistakes in planning future trips and have since then, created a better schedule for him and us for when we travel.


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