When it’s time to take to trains, planes, or automobiles in order to make it to vacations or family gatherings, parents of special needs children may stress over the idea of traveling, especially if their child also has incontinence. However, you don’t have to spend another holiday at home or miss out on that trip to the beach. With a little extra pre-trip planning your whole family will be on their way to enjoying one heck of a vacation!
Packing And Preparing For Travel
The first thing you should do is figure out how long you’ll be away, then make sure you pack enough incontinence products to cover each day and night. Consider switching to more absorbent pull-ups if your child will be going for longer periods of time without access to a restroom. Also, bring chux or bed pads to protect mattresses and seats.
While you’re out and about with your child, have a backpack that’s prepared with everything they may need. Pack diapers, a change of clothes, gloves, sanitary wipes, and a disposal bag to place any soiled items in. This way, if an accident occurs you’ll be able to clean up quickly.
Sometimes while traveling, only fatty fast foods or unhealthy snacks are available. These items can stress your child’s system, so be sure to have bottled water and healthy options available to help avoid accidents.
Check out maps of wherever you’re heading to figure out where the restrooms are ahead of time, and stop every few hours for bathroom breaks instead of waiting for the urge to strike.
You’ll also want to carry a list of your child’s medications from their doctor to show the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and in case your child needs medical care away from home. When making flight plans, speak with an agent to make sure you and your child sit together and to make sure large medical equipment such as strollers, power chairs, walkers, and more can be stored on the plane. You can also ship items to your destination in advance to avoid having to travel with them. If you have a question about going through security with medical devices, call TSA or the airport ahead of time to learn about their screening procedures. Give yourself extra time in case something doesn’t go according to plan.
How To Make Your Child Feel Comfortable
Disrupting your child’s normal routine and changing their scenery can create stress and anxiety, so offer your support and encouragement to help them calmly travel. Explain exactly what’s going to happen to your child and why to prepare them for going through security or temporarily being separated in a line. Having fidget toys and activity books available can help comfort and entertain your child, and familiar toys and blankets may also help to comfort them.
Don’t rush, either. In bustling new locations, take the time to watch trains and planes arrive and take off. This will gradually let your child adjust to these new environments to prevent a sensory overload. Be sure to have noise-canceling headphones if they would prefer their favorite music over a noisy environment.
In the event of an accident, remain calm. Remind your child that it’s not their fault and that the day or trip is still going to be great. Then, provide as much privacy as possible for the cleanup. If possible, use a private family bathroom and don’t let relatives or friends know about the accident, as incontinence can be embarrassing.
Keep in mind that you’re going on a family trip. When your child with special needs is busy or asleep, take the time to give your partner and other children ample attention.
Don’t Overpay For Incontinence Supplies
By using a reliable durable medical equipment provider (DME), you can have your incontinence supplies covered by insurance, saving you tons each month to put towards your next vacation.
A quality supplier will navigate your insurance plan for you to determine what items are covered. Most plans will supply up to 200 diapers or catheters per month. Then they will make sure your items are shipped directly to your home in blank packaging, so no one has to know what’s inside and you can skip embarrassing trips to the store for diapers.
The right DME will also match you with a trained Incontinence Specialist to always assist with your individual needs. From ensuring that you confidently have properly fitting supplies to checking in with you on a monthly basis, they’ll be there to help. You don’t have to face incontinence alone or let it prevent your family from traveling – you just need to prepare.
Welcome to Special Needs Siblings! My name is Jeniece LaGloria. I am the mother of five fabulous children all of whom rock my world and shake up my soul! I am the founder of Special Needs Siblings, Inc. I am a writer, a speaker, and an advocate for autism, epilepsy, and special needs siblings. I am here bold, faulty, and free. Why the motivation for this movement?
I began Special Needs Siblings in May 2016 with the desire to bring awareness and support to our special needs community. I had no idea it would become such a beautiful movement of love and support. I was a mother who was struggling with balance and imperfections. I knew something was missing but I did not know what. Things kept happening in our family where I was missing the mom mark. Now, this was not intentional, but it still had a huge impact on the children.
One day at Caleb’s basketball game I missed a BIG shot he made because Christian (brother with autism and epilepsy) had an episode and I needed calm him. Another time I was supposed to attend a field trip for Jada’s class, but I had to withdraw because Christian had began seizing and I needed to stay with him. Honestly, I could always find assistance regarding my son’s disability, but information pertaining to his siblings was scarce. I was hurting, confused, and torn. I wanted to be the best mother to them all, but I did not know how! I decided I wanted to find others like myself. I made a choice to create an Instagram account and begin sharing stories of myself and my children with hopes others would want to speak their truths as well. Today, we have a growing network of 20,000 people who recognize and share the same desire to bring awareness to the siblings within our families.
I have found in speaking with parents and siblings over the last few years that there is a great need to support the siblings within the special needs families. The parents are often strained emotionally, financially, and physically when dealing with their disabled child that sometimes the typical child does not receive the same needed attention. This has been known to cause different problems, ex. resentment, anger, jealousy. There were also greater possibilities of behavior issues with the siblings of special needs children. We additionally noticed that the siblings are often full of compassion and empathy for others in greater capacities than their peers. They are some of the kindest individuals you will ever come across. Their hearts are full and their feelings matter.
Special Needs Siblings, Inc.’s mission is to empower and embrace the parents and siblings within the special needs families by providing education, resources and support programs. Donations made to Special Needs Siblings, Inc. will be used to build programs, secure resources, and provide assistance to special needs siblings in the community. We will offer a place of community by bringing awareness to the families by focusing on bridging the gap between the siblings. Our goal is to be able to strengthen the family and sibling bond. We are proud to say we are officially tax exempt and looking forward to the GREAT things we can do !!
Thank you so much Lauren for being such an wonderful mother!! We really enjoyed hearing from you and about your daughter Julia. She sounds like such a joy! Thank you for allowing us to share your story with others to start off this New Year with encouragement and love. SNS!
My name is Lauren and I’m a single mother of two wonderfully amazing children! My oldest daughter Julia is 13 and my non verbal autistic son Colin who is 5. Words don’t describe how blessed I am to have these two kiddos because without them I’d be lost.
The reason for my email is really to tell you about my 13 daughter Julia who is my rock my best friend and the daughter every parent dreams of! Julia has always been a straight A student who is always there to lend a helping hand and the kind of patience and love in her heart that we all strive to have!
This past year my ex husband and their father had to walk away from the children’s lives as he struggled with an addiction he is hopefully trying to overcome to this day but knowing that these two kids dearly miss their father and hurt inside ways I’m not even aware of at times. Christmas is just a few days away and I want nothing more than for these two babies have their father back and healthy but realistically that’s not in the cards for the time being!
Please don’t feel bad for my children or myself but remember this holiday season that we all should be thankful for everyone and everything we have in our lives and that no matter what show the ones you care about that you love them and are so blessed to have them in your life. Never take anything for granted because it can all disappear in an instant and those memories are all you’ll have left.
Thank you so much Shalyn for being such an awesome sister!! We really enjoyed hearing from you and wish you the best in every future endeavor! We love you, SNS
I am Shalyn Reynolds. I’m 19, from Michigan and my brother is Quentin Reynolds.
SNS: What does ‘Special Needs Siblings’ mean to you?
Shalyn: The phrase special needs siblings mean to me that you’re a brother/sister to somebody who’s not quite like you, but they deserve the same love and attention a normal child gets. You just have to understand their different likes and dislikes.
SNS: What are some ups and downs to being a SNS?
Shalyn: Some ups of being a Special Needs Sibling you get to have a challenge with dealing with them, learning different things about their disability, being a role model to them. Some downs of being a Special Needs Sibling having to worry about them not fitting it with other kids, them not getting the same attention as the normal kids.
SNS: Do you have a favorite memory with you and your brother?
Shalyn: My favorite memory with my brother was going to Chicago for a skateboard championship and he got to meet all of his favorite skateboarders, he’s really into skateboarding. Just seeing how happy he was made me happy and excited he got to be there.
SNS: What’s your dream?
Shalyn:I’m majoring in special education, my dream is to open up a facility for kids with special needs so they can interact with other kids with special needs, they’ll be able to feel comfortable, do different activities just something fun for them.
SNS: Is there anything you enjoy because of your brother?
Shalyn: My brother is big on skateboarding I never once liked skateboarding until he started to like it he’s always outside riding his skateboard I get on it sometimes just to make him happy. If he’s not outside skateboarding he’s in the house watching it.
A deep thank you to Miss Southeast International, Ciara Hibdon, of Fayetteville Arkansas. She is the older sister of Steele and we honor her for being such an amazing big sister!! We love you, SNS
Steele and I have had quite the extraordinary life. Being exactly two years and two days apart we share a close bond and have shared countless birthday parties.
At the age of three, Steele was diagnosed with autism. I was five at the time. I remember hearing the word autism for the first time and thinking, “but there’s nothing wrong with him”. Since that day it has been my mission to be his advocate and a Hero for Autism. Through our brother sister bond I have learned compassion, patience and most importantly hard work.
We were told Steele would never graduate high school, this fall he will be attending the University of Arkansas studying journalism in the honors program. None of this would have been possible without his Heroes for Autism.
As Miss Southeast International I am spreading the message of autism acceptance through my platform Heroes for Autism, we often hear of autism awareness but not acceptance. My job, to educate and encourage others to reach out and befriend those who minds work a little differently and help create a world that is more sensory friendly for these people.
I am working with Walmart Corporate on enhancing the shopping experience for those who have autism and other special needs by offering quiet hours and assistance shopping and checking out. It’s the simple things that make the biggest difference.
Steele has gone to infinity and beyond to be where he is today and I am so proud of the young man he has become. He inspires me each and every day and makes me strive to be a better person. He truly is a Hero for Autism.