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Some tips for making travel comfortable when you have a child with Down syndrome

If you are a parent to a child with Down syndrome and are planning a trip, here are some tips to make the experience comfortable for you and your child.

When you have a child with a disability, it's good to plan ahead so it's a comfortable and hassle free experience.Many parents with children with Down syndrome worry about planning a vacation because of the stares they are likely to get. Then there are worries about possible health alarms.

Children with Down syndrome have great social skills and have the gift of getting along with people. But parents must be careful about their safety.

Lilly Kutty, Principal, Shraddha School for Children with Special Needs in Kochi says that a detailed planning of the vacation is important so that nothing goes wrong.

Most important thing is that parents must check for a place that is disabled- friendly. So whether it is a hotel, resort or a tourist attraction, do some research into what the place has to offer. A child with Down syndrome needs to have food at regular intervals. So parents must ensure that they carry some food along with them. Also, it would be good if parents can carry disability certificates because you get a lot of concessions for children with Down syndrome which you can avail-Lilly Kutty, Principal, Shraddha School for Children with Special Needs

Here are some tips for travelling with your child who has Down syndrome

  • Planning is key- Having a child with a disability does not have to put an end to your family's dreams of travelling together and having fun. With the right planning and execution, vacations can be the ideal break that you need. Do a thorough research of the place that you are planning to go. Look into details, like how disabled friendly they are and facilities that they offer. There are many disabled-friendly tourist spots in India. You can even consult parent support groups that can help you out.
  • Be prepared- It is important to carry things that your child likes. For instance, toys or books can be a great companion to your child. Some children may prefer spending time with their favourite toys instead of hanging out at a new place. Apart from toys and books, carry all the essentials that your child needs. For instance, food, medical aid and basic things are a must-have in your travel bag.
  • Focus on yourself - Many parents tend to get uncomfortable when people stare at their child who has Down syndrome. Some of them might even come forward with opinions and advices. But never mind! You are on a vacation and you will never see those people again. So focus on your family and the fun that you all are going to have together.
  • Have an amazing time- When you look back, your travel with family must be all about fun and togetherness. Your child being diagnosed with Down syndrome does not have to put an end to anything. Make sure that you explore new things together to have a great time.

"When you travel with your child who has Down syndrome, look at places that interest them as well", suggests Reena Verma, mother to Aditi, who runs a restaurant in Navi Mumbai. "Like for instance, they might like a place with greenery over a beach. Also, parents must ensure that the place is safe because when you are on a vacation you really do not want to go behind your child all the time. Even the child must be able to walk around and explore things freely. Factors like climate and environment of the place also matters".

ALSO READ: Check out these awesome recreational activities for children with Down syndrome!

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