This week marks Autism Awareness Week (30th March – 5thApril 2020) but did you know that our sister brand, Beaches Resorts, has a programme created especially for children on the spectrum?
Last year, Beaches Resorts became the first company in the world to attain the Advanced Certified Autism Centre (ACAC) designation by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). The higher certification included specialist training for all kids camp and watersports staff and nannies at Beaches Negril Beach Resort & Spa and Beaches Ocho Rios Spa Golf & Waterpark Resort in Jamaica, and Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa in Turks & Caicos. Training covers several areas and enables staff to recognise signs of autism and the varying levels of the conditions, as well as how to engage with children on the spectrum. For more information on our specialised programme, visit the website.
We also recently introduced ‘Special Services’ which gives families the option of a ‘One-on-One Beaches Buddy’, offering personalised, private childcare with a buddy who is certified by IBCCES. The service can be pre-booked for a nominal fee.
In addition to this, we are now providing families with:
A personalised pre-travel questionnaire to identify requests and preferences with a dedicated Special Services team to assist in the holiday planning process
A Culinary Concierge programme to support specific dietary restrictions and special requests
Modified check-in options for private, in-room, check-in and the availability of sensory toys for children during check-in
Identification of quiet spaces during noisier times of the day and evening
Modified design and decoration in Kids Camps and Entertainment areas to create a more sensory-friendly environment
Beaches Resorts welcomed Sesame Street’s first ever autistic character, Julia, to the collection of walkaround characters at Beaches Resorts in Jamaica and Turks & Caicos, in 2017. The introduction of Julia provided staff with extensive training and the resources needed to ensure that all employees learnt how to recognise and work with families who have children on the autism spectrum. Julia’s debut continues Beaches Resorts’ partnership with Sesame Workshop, the non-profit educational organisation behind Sesame Street, and expands the resort company’s exclusive Beaches Resorts Caribbean Adventure with Sesame Street® programme, now in its 14thyear of partnership.