US town declares itself an autism-friendly holiday destination for families

US town declares itself autism-friendly.
US town declares itself autism-friendly. Photo: Getty Images

A town in South Carolina has declared itself an autism-friendly holiday destination for families.

Earlier this week the town council for Surfside Beach announced it would be making changes, catering more to families with children who have special needs.

Leading the initiative was Becky Large who has a son with autism. 

"The town council of Surfside will be proclaiming that Surfside Beach is an autism-friendly travel destination and as far as I know, no other town or city has made that declaration," Large told WYFF4.

WE DID IT! Surfside Beach SC is now the first Autism Friendly Travel Destination ANYWHERE!!! PLEASE help spread the...

Posted by Champion Autism Network on  Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The main goal is to create a place families can holiday without judgement.

"We're trying to create a judgment free zone, and not just for a few hours but for a couple of days," she said.

"It's really fun to go somewhere, where everybody gets it and understands. And you could actually swap stories with other families and talk about what's working for you and if they're 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," she said. 

The mayor of Surfside Beach, Doug Samples, said their town is the perfect place to start the initiative.

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"Being the family beach, being low profile, less densely populated, it sounded like a perfect match," he said.

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