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Old 03-01-2010
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Sailing with special kids

Hi All

Just noticed a post from Bene505 in the thread about finding a liveaboard family for a reality show where Bene505 mentionned he sails with his 4 kids, one of them autistic.

I also have four kids (11, 9, 5 & 3), the 9 yr old has High Functionning Autism. My wife and I dream of a liveaboard life, but quite honestly could not imagine how we would cope with our special boy on board. He is becoming more and more uncomfortable about being away from the security of his home or his friends from the respite centre and most outings these days end up being very stressful for everyone and are therefore kept to a minimum.

My wife and I have pretty much decided that when(/if) we get through this in one piece, once the chidren all have their own lives, and our special boy is setup with support to get through his day to day life, we will have earned the right to be a little selfish and choose to sail around with no fixed address. My problem is that while we are waiting for that day to come, we would like to at least purchase a day sailer and learn the things we will need to know for when our big adventure starts.

Does anyone on this forum have experience involving special needs children in their sailing holidays? Any tips on making the boat feel like a home away from home and therefore a "safe zone"?

Cheers
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