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New type of travel agency helps book autism friendly trips

Posted at 9:55 PM, Sep 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-17 23:21:18-04

A quick getaway or even a dream vacation can sound impossible for some parents who have a child with autism. But a new type of travel agency is trying to change that. 

Angie Pingel is a mom to a son with autism. She does not think it's possible for her son to even go on vacation.

"Traveling with a child with autism is never an easy thing it requires more planning than..... God," said Pingel.

Her son is non-verbal and has a service dog, staying in a normal hotel room is a challenge.

"A normal hotel room have different types of lighting," said Pingel. "Sometimes they have really busy wallpaper and that's difficult. Or patterned carpets, for kids with autism are hypersensitive to their senses."

That hypersensitivity is why Sara Nowacki said she started Autism Friendly Vacations. Her sons have sensory issues.

"First time I went, planned it all by myself, I was all alone doing this and I was a nervous wreck," said Nowacki.

She has since become certified as an autism travel specialist, one of the first in the area. She works with hotels, cruise lines and Disney to get parents everything from special meals to special rooms.

Even finding kids-clubs that have babysitters who can watch a child with autism if parents want a break.

"A parent can go in making sure these things are taken care of for them," said Nowacki.

The TSA and the Autism Society of Southeastern Wisconsin does allow children to practice going through security before they travel. You can check for the next event.