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 2

This year we are going to Disneyland, California Adventure, and Long Beach Aquarium.  It’s a very ambitious trip for us as we going to three major attractions in a span of a week.  Having lived close to all of these attractions at one time, my husband and I aren’t upset about not seeing every hidden Mickey.

We are planning each ride or show and building in down time.  We will NOT do both Disney parks back to back.  The Aquarium will also be a much slower pace than Disneyland and we can take things one exhibit at a time.  Thankfully we have family there, so our son will have 2 nights with one of his Aunts and Grandma.  This allows us to have our own time and that is always a bonus!

I know not every family has the luxury of handing off the kids during a vacation, but you can build in plenty of time to relax. Special needs kids need the extra down time.  Some of the following activities can be built into your schedule and are still fun, family activities:

  • Go to the beach or park to have a picnic
  • Stay in the hotel room and watch a movie
  • Find a children’s museum
  • Have a picnic in the hotel room
  • Take a walk by a riverfront or some body of water
  • Find a playground in a park or a mall
  • Stay in the hotel and hang out by the pool

These are just some suggestions that have worked for our family, but you know your child best and what is calming.

By building in this scheduled down time away from attractions that are overly stimulating, you will reduce the amount and severity of the melt downs.  Because your schedule is different from being at home, you will still have some melt downs but it will ease the tension and stress for the whole family.  It will also allow you to be a little more refreshed when you return.

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