This is a public service announcement: I wanted to share this opportunity with you all.
By Mike Sobbell, founder, Autism on the Seas, per my request
Managing the 24/7 ups, downs and all arounds of parenting a child on the spectrum can really test one’s mettle. But what about decompressing, down-time – VACATION? For most families with special needs kids, the idea of a vacation rarely gets beyond the dream state with thoughts of meltdowns, public humiliation, feelings of awkwardness, fear of the unknown — and then there’s the financial consideration.
Our friend, Rob Gorski, asked us to tell you about our Autism on the Seas Vacation Grant Program funded by our partner, Skyeward Bound Ranch. We hope you will apply and for those of you who would like to take a crack at our “I Need a Special Vacation” essay contest, we will be accepting entries from Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama as of July 26th. We send the winner’s family of four on an all-expense paid cruise AND we also donate a cruise to their designated autism non-profit advocacy group for fundraising or however they wish to use the cruise donation. Our regional contests are announced semi-monthly; you can sign up for our newsletter or visit the website to see where we’ll be next.
What’s a vacation with Autism on the Seas like and how do I know my child will be OK?
Autism on the Seas (AotS) has been proudly operating special needs vacations since 2006. We are the only niche travel service company in the US that organizes and staffs cruises and land resort vacation for families with special needs. We work with top-tier cruise lines, including Royal Caribbean, Disney and Carnival, as well as land resort destinations, such as Club Med and Walt Disney World.
Vacations with AotS are nothing less than transformative for both child and family. Families share story after story about how their child has come alive in ways they never dreamed possible – communicating, socializing or even climbing a rock wall!
We can’t give you one irrefutable reason why these changes occur, but we believe the secret to our success comes from a combination of:
- Exposure to a new non-therapeutic, unrestrictive and uniquely fun setting
- Warm, caring and playful staff: AotS’ young energetic staff is comprised of experienced and caring professionals who work with children and adults with ASDs, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and other cognitive, intellectual and developmental impairments
- Respite time for typical siblings and other family members to reconnect – difficult to do with a special needs child at home
- Parents building relationships and lifelong friendships with other AotS parents with similar special needs lifestyles – creating a valuable support network
- Normalcy, belonging and dignity – new perspectives and hope for their child
We hope you join OUR family for an experience and memory that YOUR family will cherish for a lifetime.
Mike Sobbell is founder and owner of Autism on the Seas. For more information about our special needs vacations, please visit the website, AutismontheSeas.com and ”like” us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AutismontheSeas.