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Split Rock Resort: An Autism-Friendly Place February 23, 2009

Posted by hopeauthority in Autism, Family, special needs.
Tags: , , , , ,

Split Rock Resort is a little piece of happiness in the Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania. Like what you’d get when you cross mainstream Dirty Dancing with the magic of Disneyland.

And when you have autism in the family, vacations can be a nightmare.

So when you find a place that is so accommodating to your special needs and so welcoming to your family and makes every effort to ensure that you have a nice time…you thank them by spreading the word.

Split Rock Resort has been around since the 1940’s, but just recently opened an indoor waterpark attached to the Galleria area of the resort. We never had to leave the Galleria. They had everything: restaurants, the waterpark, an indoor pool and hot tubs, ping-pong, basketball, a movie theater, bowling alley, ice-cream parlor…you name it.

What made the place special for us was Sam Arnett and his staff. The resort offers a blog (Talk2Me) direct to upper management. Before we went, I advised them (through the blog) of Fabio’s special diet and other challenges of autism, like waiting on long lines and sensory issues.

I got a prompt and friendly response from Sam asking for my reservation info, assuring me our room would be non-smoking, assigning our family a staff member for the duration of our stay, giving me the chef’s name and extension and the assurance he’d meet our dietary challenges, and giving me his own extension with instructions to call him upon our arrival so he could escort us into the waterpark to avoid any lines.

Upon our arrival, we were blown away to find that our room had been upgraded at no extra cost to us to a 2 bedroom suite with full kitchen. (I always travel with Fabio’s food anyway.) And, unlike the case for everyone I saw checking in too early before us, our room was ready for us. I know that was not a fluke. And while I am sure they are courteous to everyone, I don’t think the average family gets quite so many “just checking to be sure you have everything you need” calls. (Thanks Danielle and Stephanie!) Oh, and security came real fast when Fabio accidentally locked the inside door that connects the two big rooms that make up the big suite.

After Sam whisked us into the waterpark, we spent 5 straight hours in the water until the kids literally collapsed, wrinkly-fingered and water-logged into a heap. A few sizzling burgers and hot baths later, Fabio drifted off to sleep watching Toy Story (what else?). Then hubby and daughter hit the ice cream parlor. I ended the night with mint chocolate chip in the jacuzzi as they all snoozed…

Day 2 was essentially a repeat of day1. Another 5 hours in the “Pool Park” as Fabio called it. Another collapse into a state of elated exhaustion.

Smooth check-out. A visit to my aunt’s house overnight. Then back home to reality.

Lots of sensory things going on, plus the general disruption in the routine. Yet only one meltdown… which  happened when we tried to do the indoor pool instead of the “Pool Park” the second day.  Stupid me. What kid would want anything to do with a regular indoor pool after riding the waves in Hurricane Cove the day before?

It was an amazing time. I’m telling ya, there is some kind of magic in those mountains. Thanks for the memories, Split Rock!



1. tiredmama - February 23, 2009

WOW! What an awesome resort! Vacations always make me extra nervous before we leave, but this one sounds like heaven. So glad you got a chance to get away and have fun turning wrinkly and water-logged as a family! 😉

2. HeatherPride - February 24, 2009

What a great time!! Very nice that they were able to accommodate you so well!

3. goodmum - February 27, 2009

This sounds awesome. I’m so glad you had such a wonderful vacation!

4. MOMSBLESSINGS - March 5, 2009

Thanks for sharing the info, its always nice to know of a place that’s so accomodating, and fun! This place sounds amazing!

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