Cerebral palsy is a very difficult disease to deal with both for the sufferer and the people around them. One thing that is particularly difficult and demands a lot of special attention when suffering from the disease is traveling.
While traveling is not generally recommended for people dealing with any kind of debilitating disease, it doesn’t mean that it should be off your list if someone in your family was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. If you plan correctly and are aware of your child’s limitations, you can craft a trip that will be fun for everyone involved. Let’s take a look at a few tips for traveling with a family member with cerebral palsy.
Privilege Road Trips
Going on a road trip is probably the best option for any family with a member who has cerebral palsy. This will limit the number of interactions they have with strangers and will allow you to keep an eye on them practically the whole time.
One thing that might get complicated during a road trip, however, is accommodation. You have to make sure that the places you’ll be staying are CP-friendly. This means that they should have good accessibility but also go above and beyond to help people with disabilities. This is not something you are likely to find in a motel or cheap hotel, so make sure you have a clear itinerary set up and know in advance where you’ll be staying.
Whether you’re travelling domestically or going overseas, you should consider looking for non-emergency medical transportation. Non-emergency medical transportation services will provide your child with constant assistance to and from your destination. They will ensure that they stay safe the whole time and will provide emotional support to your child as well. If you’re interested in trying non emergency medical transportation, you should check out services like Flying Angels.
One thing you must understand about children with disabilities is that they will tend to act out if their schedules suddenly change, so you have to let them know of the trip well in advance and have them involved in the planning of the trip too.
Let them know about the destination and how you will be getting there. This will get them excited about the trip and help set their expectations. It would also be a good idea to watch footage of the destination with them and even go visit the airport you’ll be leaving from a few days in advance so you can get them mentally prepared.
It’s also very important that you pick the destination you’re going to wisely. Not all countries have the same level of accessibility and going to a country where you’ll be forced to take stairs everywhere they go or can’t take public transportation is a bad idea.
Before you leave, make sure that the country in question is fairly accessible. If the country as a whole is not, check if some of the cities are more accessible than others and see if they could be a good option.
If this is your first time traveling with your child with cerebral palsy, then it wouldn’t be the best idea to go for a 12-hour trip with multiple stops. Instead, we suggest that you take them on a short trip first.
This could serve as practice for a bigger trip too. You could look at footage of different destinations with them and see if they get particularly excited about one. Going for a destination they want to go to will help make a positive association with travel and they won’t be as likely to throw fits or get disoriented on their first major trip.
If you’re going on a road trip, make sure that you have a cooler full of the foods your child needs or prefers. Children with cerebral palsy can get very picky when it comes to food, so you don’t want to rely on the options available on the road.
If you’re in another country, have plenty of your child’s favorite snacks in a backpack. You could also prepare some of their favorite meals in advance, so you won’t have to go to restaurants. And, if you think you will be eating out a lot, make sure that the restaurant’s menu is suitable for your child and that it’s accessible.