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For Parents, Personal

Inclusive Vacations for Friends with Special Needs and All Abilities

We ALL deserve a break but for so many of our families…. the thought of a vacation may seem like just too much to tackle. Is it accessible? Too much sensory input? Is it safe? What food do they serve? Ayayay.

Recently, one of my favorite families told me a bout a vacation they took where specially-trained ski instructors taught kiddos with various delays and disabilities how to ski. “Well is that not just THE COOLEST THING!?”  <<that was me

It got me thinking… and thinking led to googling… and googling led to this:

 

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Photo Credit: Sai Kiran Anagani via unsplash.com

 

–  Ski Apache Adaptive Sports – Ruidoso, New Mexico –

Ski Apache is BEAUTIFUL and will be sure, no matter the needs of your kiddo, that the whole family has a great time. With specialized training and equipment, everyone can be a skier!

 

– Myrtle Beach – South Carolina –

Myrtle Beach has taken great strides to be an Autism-friendly destination. They provide quiet rooms, a specially-designed playground, and safety bands with GPS trackers. All you need is sun screen!

 

– Tradewinds Island Resorts – St. Pete Beach, Florida –

Tradewinds is your classic beach resort with a twist. They offer special diets, and even social stories that provide photos of virtually every space, activity, and restaurant available. Well done!

 

– Shared Adventures – Santa Cruz, California –

Shared Adventures provides camps specifically designed for all friends. Families and caregivers are welcome to join as well! They provide activities such as archery, rock climbing, ziplining, and so much more.

 

Splore – Salt Lake City, Utah –

Splore provides rafting, rock climbing, paddleboarding, canoeing, snowshoeing, and skiing. They are dedicated to creating an individualized experience for each guest. They set no limits on age or ability – they just want you to come “splore” with them!

 

Morgan’s Wonderland – San Antonio, Texas –

Morgan’s Wonderland offers water-proof wheelchairs, inclusion-themed packages (such as “make new friends!”), and specially-designed rides that allow friends (who travel by foot or wheel) to get the same wonderful experience.

 

Dollywood – Pigeon Forge, Tennessee –

Dolly wants to take care of all of God’s children, y’all! This theme park includes accessible rides, calming rooms, and good ol’ wholesome southern fun.

 

 

This, of course, is not an exhaustive list. (A few other honorable mentions are Atlantis Bahamas, Smuggler’s Notch, Hershey’s Park.) This post is simply meant to inspire and encourage! We could ALL use a vacation now and again! (and again and again)

 

Happy Summer!

Personal

Self Care and Warm Fuzzies

We all have those sessions… days… (weeks?!) where progress is slow, we’re tired, and our best just doesn’t seem to be enough. Most SLPs I know pour their heart and soul into their kiddos. Sometimes it’s difficult to remember that we are therapists, not magicians. It feels like there is always something more we can do. This may or may not be true, but one thing is certain… we are our toughest critics.

WELL. Present Lindsey decided to give future Lindsey a gift. She decided to start a warm fuzzy journal.

“What in the tarnation is a ‘warm fuzzy’?”
So glad you asked!

Photo Credit: cathrynlavery via unsplash.com

A warm fuzzy is a little reminder that you are worthy of love and praise. This tradition has been in my life for YEARS. Every summer on my church mission trip, students would spend the week writing warm fuzzies to each other. We each got a bag filled with warm fuzzy notes at the end of the week. These notes could be about times we were spotted being kind, or about some other positive attribute we possessed. The purpose was to show love and appreciation for one another.

Well who better to appreciate you than YOU? All those little moments that make the blood, sweat, and tears that go into being a passionate SLP are now written in my Warm Fuzzy Journal. My WFJ, if you will.

That cute thing my little bitty said yesterday? In my WFJ. That kind, heart-felt email of thanks sent to me by  a patient’s mother? In my WFJ. That day my student finally graduated after months of hard work? In my WFJ.

On days when future Lindsey needs a pick-me-up, she can reach for a glass of wine and her WFJ. It contains moments that are too precious to risk forgetting. They are the moments that drive my entire career. I became a Speech Therapist because I care to a fault. Sound familiar?  : )

What do you like to do for self-care and self-appreciation? Please share! And please let me know how your very own Warm Fuzzy Journal turns out, should you decide to join me!