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South Carolina Beach Becomes First Autism-Friendly Travel Spot

January 13, 2016
Source: WYFF 4 Greenville, SC

A South Carolina beach has become the first autism-friendly vacation destination.

The Surfside Beach Town Council signed a proclamation this week that will make the family beach a judgment-free zone for families with children with dealing with autism, WMBF reported.

"We [are] trying to create a judgment free zone, and not just for a few hours but for a couple of days," Becky Large said. Large is the founder of the Champion Autism Network, also known as CAN.

"Surfside Beachs motto is the family beach and they want families to come here and its quiet and its small, and we [are] ready to serve and its the perfect place to kick off this initiative," Large said.

Large told WMBF that it can be a challenge to go on vacation when a family member has been diagnosed with autism. But when there are initiatives like Surfsides, the challenges may be fewer.

The community has family-friendly events scheduled now through April and Large is working with local businesses to help owners understand the challenges that families with autistic members face while on vacation.

"Its really fun to go somewhere, where everybody gets it and understands. And you could actually swap stories with other families and talk about whats working for you and if they [are] from different states, we can cross populate and learn from each other... and help to grow awareness and who knows... create better services and supports," Large said.

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