Travelling can be stressful for the family of someone on the autism spectrum.
Cathy Lomond, owner of Hotel Port Aux Basques in Port Aux Basques, Nfld., is doing her part to help alleviate that stress. Lomond decided to create a space where those with autism disorder spectrum (ADS) can relax and enjoy their vacation.
Speaking with the Huffington Post, Lomond explained that after partnering with an organization with Autism Involves Me in 2013 “some members of the organization discussed how difficult it was to travel with autistic children. Joan approached me and I immediately jumped at working with the group to see what we needed to do to become an autism-friendly hotel.”
The hotel has a lounge with a calming mural, a swing, a climbing wall and a sensory boat to create a comfortable environment for children with autism. There’s also a kids’ menu available with pictures of the food items, which can help foster independence for children who may have trouble speaking.
Lomond also trained her staff to have a better understand of the autism spectrum. “I wanted my staff to be able to help the customers travelling with an autistic person to understand the needs,” she said.
Staff at HotelPAB training on Autism Spectrum. pic.twitter.com/5fx0EMlt1N
— Cathy Lomond (@Hotel_PaB) March 16, 2017
According to Autism Speaks, autism is the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada.