Paul Offit Admits He Has No Expertise in Autism: So Why Does Media Turn to Him?
TACA Real Help Now Conference for Autism in Orange County, CA

Wyndham Garden Austin Texas Offers Special Support For Guests with Autism

Wyndham Here's an uplifting story from KVUE in Texas about special accommodations for autism at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Autism Texas. (Oops! Yes that's a typo, but I'm leaving it there. My fingers type au- and 'tism just follows! Of course, it's AUSTIN.) :) KS


Posted on April 14, 2010 at 6:12 PM

Updated today at 6:20 PM

Wyndham Garden Austin Hotel is opening a special wing Wednesday night.  This special section of rooms is specially designed for children on the Autism spectrum.

The final touches were being put into a South Austin hotel room Wednesday.

"We wanted it to feel very much like a hotel room still, because we don't want people to come in and feel like, 'Oh, we've been tagged with this special needs label,'" said Conference Services Manager Anna Roberts.

Some of the changes are subtle: organic cleaning products, corner protectors and keeping most of the amenities just out of reach.

It's ideal for Ann Kaplan, who travels each year with her family, including her 9-year -old autistic son, Jon.

"He is what I consider low verbal, he has some speaking, he can request things," she said.

Jon is a pretty good traveler, but it's still not easy.

"We pack our own foods, we do a lot of prep before we go -- where's the Whole Foods or natural food markets," she said.

Many autistic children don't like being taken out of their comfort zone or routines. Kaplan has had scary moments while traveling.

"Our child has tried to escape a room -- it's very scary. He woke up in the middle of the night and he was disoriented and he tried to walk out," she recounted.

That is the type of scenario the Wyndham Austin Hotel is trying to avoid.  Special alarms will wake parents if a child opens the door.  No need to pack foods --  the hotel offers a gluten and casein free menu.  The five special rooms are all in one section of the hotel, and the staff has been trained on what to expect.

"So to have a staff that's trained, that say 'oh, we know that's OK. We're not going to react to it or we're going to help you what ever the situation calls for,'" said Kaplan.

"I think that's the biggest part of making them feel comfortable," said Roberts.

That gives parents a sense of calm that they can have a vacation.

All five rooms are booked for the first night.  The hotel offers those rooms at a discount.


Autism Grandma

Re: Post by Gatogorra: "At the very least, our kids' brains fry from all the typical commercial cleaning products and, after just a few hours, end up screaming, manic and sleepless."

I am chemically sensitive and so is my grandson thanks to being poisoned by vaccines. I was poisoned by a toxic solvent gas exposure, but no matter the end result of extreme toxic overload is extreme chemical sensitivities, so it is the same for my grandson. There is NO WAY I can stay in a regular hotel room, much less my grandson. Glutathione, Methyl B-12 and magnesium transdermal creams have improved his chemical sensitivities and many other issues, but he still flips out in Walmart and any kind of indoor building. It seems to me that the autism community in general is missing the boat on this issue, as so many people believe the "meltdowns" are simply a neurological reaction to other stimulus, without realizing that all of these toxic chemicals are provoking a meltdown.

There was a news story a few years ago regarding the airport here and a mother who was asked to remove her son from the plane before takeoff due to his extreme behavior. She tried to explain that he was autistic and having a meltdown "due to a new situation that he couldn't cope with" but since he was disrupting the other passengers and staff with all of his screaming, kicking etc. they demanded that she take him off the plane. The mother felt that he would "adjust to the new environment" if they let him stay on the plane, which told me that she did not suspect chemical exposure reactions, so it really was a good thing for her child that he was removed from the plane because he would have been trapped in that plane for hours and would have only gotten worse (in my humble opinion). In the beginning of my own poisoning journey before I discovered alternative medicine, I couldn't even go in a car driving on the highway by the airport, much less get on an airplane. Later after I was improving through the use of nutritional and alternative therapies, I made the mistake of believing that I could manage picking my daughter up from the airport but I quickly turned into a basket case so I had to leave and she had to take a taxi home. With all of those planes the level of diesel fuel exhaust is huge and there have been studies showing that people who live near airports have greater incidence of asthma and cancer.

A lot of the therapies such as mentioned above have been used by the chemical injury community prior to the autism epidemic so I was already familiar with some of the D.A.N. therapies when I was researching that. Since I realized immediately that my grandson had been poisoned by vaccines it makes logical sense why many of the same therapies help both the autism community and the chemically injured community. I read a book called "Dylan's Story" where the mother stated that her son's autism never improved until they removed him from all chemical exposures, including their new house which of course had a ton of new building material chemicals. Her book also has a lot of great tips about how to make your home environment and food supply chemically free.

My grandson has terrible reactions to perfume, which many people have no clue how extremely toxic these chemical concoctions are, so I always ask people to make sure they are not wearing perfume when they come over to our house. I was already conscious of this problem due to my own situation, but once in awhile someone new shows up here unannounced. Both of us either just get "stoned" and turn into zombies or else we have an extreme hyper agitated reaction. Now if anyone new shows up at the front door I go outside and talk to them on the front porch and don't let them into the house if my grandson is here downstairs. [The PORPHYRIN issue is prevalent in both vaccine injured and chemically injured people]

The sad part of all this is that our children cannot tell us exactly how they are feeling, they can only "act it out" by their reactions to chemical exposures, so if the parents don't have any knowledge of this potential they blame the "meltdowns" on other things without recognizing the chemical exposure issues. When my grandson has a chemical exposure reaction we immediately put him in the bathtub with Miracle 2 soap and clay which removes toxins through the skin. I used these detox baths myself before my grandson was vaccine poisoned so we started doing this with him immediately and we use various detox baths now including magnesium bath flakes regularly. The improvements in how he is feeling and his behavior is immediate. We also use Young Living therapeutic grade essential oils regularly and this solution really comes in handy when we are out in a public place and can't get him into a bathtub right away.

For those of you who don't suspect this contributing problem yet and your children cannot tell you how they are feeling, I will take this opportunity to tell you myself. When this happens to me basically I feel like SH*T. Here is the list of potential reactions due to chemical intoxication: Spaced out, "Stoned", loss of mental clarity, mental confusion, inability to concentrate or focus, inability to breathe (asthma), skin crawling sensations, weakness, muscle incoordination, headaches, feeling of pressure on the brain, muscle pain, nervousness, agitation, anger, and depression. [List is not complete however] The fun part is when a dark cloud of depression descends on the mind or the feeling of agitation drives me to feel like screaming and throwing things. I have done this many times in the past when I was alone, but now thankfully I have improved tremendously over the last 10 years of alternative medicine therapies and so this only happens occasionally and with my grandson living here I just have to get a grip and control myself until I jump into a detox bath or use my EBR foot detox bath machine which a friend donated to me several years ago. I called the company and asked if this device could be used with children, and they told me that they usually don't recommend this until age ten, but that many clinicians are using this as young as age 6 with a reduced timing of half of the normal treatment (adults: 12 minutes on negative charge, 10 minutes on positive charge). This equipment has clinical trials behind it and FDA approved. (Not that I trust the FDA's opinion, but we know what kind of extensive evidence it takes to get any kind of medical device approved by the FDA)

The principal behind the "Ionic foot bath" is simple and proven: A safe level electrical charge goes through the water through the feet and into the body. By first charging with negative and then followed by positive charge the cells are induced to safely release toxins through the feet into the water. You can actually see the heavy metals come out as black specks, liver toxins are brown, candida is white, kidney toxins a whitish blue, and gall bladder is green tinge. These excretions have been tested to show exactly what they are. In the beginning a few years ago at first the water looked like mud, and as time progresses less dramatic. But with anyone who has a challenged detoxification system caused by toxic overloads, this problem is ongoing so I will probably be doing this the rest of my life, but it helps me so much that I am very grateful to have this technology at my disposal. It seems to me that this technology could be used successfully with vaccine poisoned children who are older (at least 6 years old), however it would be best to locate someone knowledgeable and try it out first with them before investing in this equipment. (A lot of chiropractors have this equipment for their patients) Here is a tip I learned researching online that my chiropractor didn't tell me about. Drink lots of purified water prior to and after the treatments, even better if organic, ionic or colloidal minerals are added. I also add a powdered mix to the water called "EmergenC" which they now also make a children's version.

Excuse me for writing such a long post, but I have always wanted to share this information with the autism community. Do online research and talk to someone locally who uses this technology to see if it makes logical sense to you.

Austin Mom

We travelled to Austin for three years before finally moving here because my son is recovering thanks to Dr Kendal Stewart at Neurosensory Centers and he is a student at HALO. I wish this hotel had been around then! Austin is becoming well known for autism clinics and services and we have a few GFCF restaurants and stores which is pretty cool as well. The only bad thing? The pollen. We have been quarantined indoors for 4 weeks from oak pollen.

Julie Swenson

Incredibly smart and socially fabulous! I foresee many more hotels and vacation destinations following suit. They've got one hell of a 'niche' market to cater to!

Chris O'Connell

Funny how you type "Autism" automatically when you start a word with "au____". My daughter's school program director once misspelled autism "Absurdism" in an email to her IEP team members, and then had the nuts to say it was a typo. Her view of autism was that it is untreatable and we needed to accept our daughter's limitations. Now that's absurdism. We have since relocated to a more progressive area.

Tobi Drabczyk

I'm on vacation right now as I read this and boy do I wish this hotel had this. I don't relax at all the whole week we are here because the hotel lock on the front door is low enough for my autistic daughter to reach and open and the doors to the balcony just have the standard lift up locks. It would be wonderful to not have to worry about her getting out one of the doors. I do hope other hotels follow this example, it's wonderful.


Yes, Thoughtful House worked with them on this project. They were interviewed in the story on another news station. They had a big ribbon cutting last night and a family with two kids with autism got to do the honors.


This is fantastic. People who don't have effected children have NO IDEA what danger-filled misery a regular hotel room can be. At the very least, our kids' brains fry from all the typical commercial cleaning products and, after just a few hours, end up screaming, manic and sleepless.

There should be some kind of award for being so proactive. Kudos to the Wyndham.


I wonder if I could talk them into doing the same at their Worldmark properties. Looks like I have some work to do!


Maybe that hospital in Oklahoma that can't treat autism should call the concierge for some pointers....


Wow! This is really cool. Someone involved in planning this must have a child with autism. How great that they provide GFCF food! I'm so tired of most people being totally unaware of this diet, which is so important to many. Even people who should know about GFCF, such as those working in programs caring for people with autism, are often oblivious. Great that a hotel would have this awareness. And the alarm to prevent unwanted exit -- also so important for many.

On the down side, the reason for increasing awareness is the increasing numbers! Is autism becoming the new normal?

Alison MacNeil

did you mean to write "in 'Autism Texas'....? If you did, awesome since TH is there, if you didn't, good Freudian slip, if we still believe in him.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)