Summer is the season that makes everyone want to enjoy family days out but, for parents and carers of autistic children, finding autism-friendly destinations can present a number of challenges. In response to this issue, a growing number of hotels, theme parks and other attractions are introducing autism awareness training, sensory guides and other resources to ensure autistic children and their families can enjoy the experiences that many of us take for granted.
Meredith Tekin is the president of the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), which certifies organisations such as hospitals and schools in cognitive disorders including autism. "There’s still a lot of stigma for families with children on the spectrum," Meredith said, commenting on the fact that IBCCES has worked with over 100 travel providers on autism programs in the past three years. “We went from zero in travel to getting requests from dozens and dozens of places,” she added.
A study by IBCCES found that a massive 87% of families with autistic children don't take family holidays at all because of a lack of autism awareness and adequate provision for children on the spectrum. Alan Day, travel agent and founder of Autism Double-Checked (a consultancy that specialises in training travel companies in autism readiness), said, "We’re bringing up kids in a world that’s constantly changing and the more we can do to make them a little bit more comfortable with change, the better.
As an organisation dedicated to researching, designing, producing and supplying compression garments, which can offer therapeutic benefits to people with autism, Jobskin are delighted that autism awareness continues to improve and is leading to practical, visible results such as those mentioned in this article.