Respite Youth Program and AotS Staff
Respite Time with the AotS Staff * CRUISES WITH STAFF ONLY
1-on-1 Respite Service is available
More info on our Respite and Staff
Respite time will be provided at various times throughout the cruise/resort stay, while parents can enjoy adult activities. Our special children will be cared for by our Autism on the Seas staff during these respite times. There will also be some activities (parties, games, movies) that will provide respite time as well.
In addition to our Autism on the Seas respite times, see the Children's Program section (on this page) for opportunities to have your children cared for by ship/resort staff professionals during the day and evening. The Autism on the Seas staff is on call for additional support and guidance to the ships/resort children's staff.
Youth Program Activities
(Cruise Line / Resort sponsored, assisted by AotS Staff)
Royal Caribbean has an award winning children's program called Adventure Ocean, for children ages 3-11.
- Disney Cruise Line, Carnival Cruise Line and Club Med Resort have similar programs.
- Children 6 months to 3 years can participate in the Fisher Price Aqua Tots program. Teens, ages 12-18 can participate in Teen related activities.
Custom Child Grouping for children with Autism
Cruise Lines/Resorts policy is to group children by their age in the Youth Programs. An exception is made for our group, and our children are allowed to be grouped by their ability, not their age.
The Youth Programs are staffed by professionals with college degrees majoring in the health care, education and/or psychology/sociology fields. The staff has experience caring for children with autism, and regularly cares for children with autism on a regular basis.
Staff supported by AotS Staff CRUISES WITH STAFF ONLY
Our "Autism on the Seas" staff provides additional training and preparatory informational sessions with the staff, that includes a review of the Questionnaires completed by the parents for their children. While our children are in the Youth Programs, they receive special care from one or more staff members specifically assigned to them. Our "Autism on the Seas" staff is in constant contact with the Youth Program staff.
The regular Youth Program activities are available for each child to participate in, which include: video games, movies, group games, educational (science related) activities and much more, click here for more info. Aside from the regular activities, our children will receive customized care, that will include activities provided to them, based on their special needs and likes/dislikes. If your child wants to just sit and watch a movie, play a video game, or any other activity, then that is what they'll do....
The Youth Programs provide the opportunity to have your children cared for throughout each day and evening. This wonderful drop off service, allows you to bring your children to the program any time of day, and pick them up any time.
A Private Meeting with the Youth Program Management staff is provided for the parents to register their children (siblings too) and to discuss their individual child's abilities and situation.
Private Youth Program Open House CRUISES WITH STAFF ONLY
We will provide a Private Open House in the Youth program just for our group. This usually takes place the first morning of the cruise, before the Youth Program opens. Our staff, along with the Youth Program staff will play host and parents will be able to visit the actual areas of the Youth Program, ask questions and discuss the program with the staff.
Special Needs Name Tags
Autism doesn’t have a specific look that sets our children apart from typically developing children. We have developed special Name Tags that we provide to each family for their special needs child, for use while they are cared for by cruise staff in the Youth Programs onboard. These tags have become immediately recognizable by ship staff.
Beepers and Access
Beepers (or ship phones) are provided so parents can be contacted when their children are in the Youth Program, should the need arise. You may visit the Youth Program any time, even to just catch a peak to see how your child is doing. You may also call the Youth Program at any time, form anywhere on the ship, using any of the ship's public phones or your cabin phone.
Private Family Activities CRUISES WITH STAFF ONLY
Many cruise line policy's are to not allow adults to remain in the Youth Program rooms during activities, for security purposes. We provide special and private times within the Youth Program, where all family members (parents, grandparents, siblings) and friends are welcome to participate.
* Please Note, that on Disney Cruises, Respite Sessions may be reduced in number an/or length. See Disney Cruise pages on this site for more information.