Grand Palladium Bávaro Suites Resort & Spa is the latest destination to become a Certified Autism Center (CAC) to help ensure guests and families with children who have autism have the best possible experience. Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find vacationing to be a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns.
The resort, located in the Dominican Republic but attracting visitors from all over the world, implemented a training and certification program provided by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). For almost 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in autism training for licensed healthcare professionals and educators around the globe. IBCCES recognized that many families with children with special needs have limited travel options and created programs specifically for the hospitality and travel industry.
“For Palladium Hotel Group, it’s very important to provide specific services that ensure fun and safe activities for families, children and adolescents and sensory inclusive programs for families. Our goal is that every family has the comfort and confidence of knowing their children are in good care, regardless of their needs. We want to ensure an unforgettable vacation for every family,” said Felipe Martínez Verde, Chief Operations Officer-America for Palladium Hotel Group.
While research shows that travel is one of the most intellectually stimulating events for individuals on the spectrum, there are still few trained and certified travel options for parents looking for destinations able to accommodate their needs. Organizations like IBCCES and Palladium Hotel Group are working to change that.
“We’re excited to partner with another great destination that is truly committing to serving those on the spectrum. We want to create safe, sensory-compatible travel options for parents and individuals, so they can visit the leading destinations across the globe and have peace of mind,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman. “Our Certified Autism Center designation is awarded to premier organizations who have completed rigorous training and meet the highest industry standards.”
Many destinations tout “autism-friendly” options; however, this term does not necessarily indicate a true understanding of these families’ requirements. More parents are now seeking out destinations that have completed research-based training and professional review to ensure the best experience possible. IBCCES also created AutismTravel.com, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center requirements, which include extensive staff training and an on-site audit conducted by leading autism experts. Grand Palladium Bávaro Suites Resort & Spa will also be listed with other CACs on AutismMember.org, a partnership between IBCCES and Autism Society to connect families and individuals with businesses and resources committed to serving individuals on the spectrum.