Families with children on the autism spectrum are entitled to a vacation just like anyone else, but often face challenges when it comes to planning — particularly if their children have specific dietary requirements or sensory needs.
With that in mind, two Orlando hotels — SpringHill Suites and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld — are among the first in the city to earn Certified Autism Center designations. Both hotels completed a certification program from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards to ensure staff have the training, tools and skills needed to work with guests with autism or other sensory needs.
To make vacation planning even more seamless, the hotels are partnering with fellow Certified Autism Centers SeaWorld Orlando, Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove located nearby.
“All of us at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott and Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld are committed to creating a brilliant and memorable experience for each and every one of our guests every day,” said Michael Wilke, dual general manager. “We are excited to be in the first group of hotels in Orlando to become autism certified and be able to best serve individual guests with autism. This effort hits close to home for me as two of my family members have autism. I am proud to bring light and dedicate my time to serving those with special needs.”
The SpringHill Suites property offers 200 suites with mini-fridges, a 24-hour convenience store, a swimming pool, free breakfast, complimentary WiFi, a Splash Bar & Grill poolside restaurant with kid-friendly fare and shuttle bus service to area theme parks.
The recently renovated, 200-room Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Orlando at SeaWorld offers an outdoor pool with a kids’ splash zone and poolside bar, a game room with new and retro arcade games, a free breakfast buffet and complimentary WiFi.
“We’re excited to work with another SeaWorld of Orlando partner that is fully committed to serving guests on the autism spectrum,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES board chairman. “We know training and certification from an established credentialing board is critical to ensuring a positive guest experience and we’re excited to see these organizations working together to create a seamless welcoming and fun experience for visitors.”
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.
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