Preparing for Spring Break!

Preparing for a Spring Break with a Child with Special Needs: Tips and Strategies

As we head into the last months of winter, many children (and parents) are counting down the days until Spring Break. Children are excited about having time off from school and many families have the opportunity to travel and have new experiences. When you have a child with autism or other special needs, this time can present unique challenges. Taking time to do some extra planning pre-spring break can help ensure happy life-long memories of this cherished time together. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a Spring Break your entire family can enjoy.

Plan ahead

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for spring break is to plan ahead. Routine is key to helping your child with autism manage their emotions and behavior. Keep your child’s spring break schedule as similar to their school/daily schedule as possible. Plan to have meals, snacks, and bedtime as close to the time your child usually engages in these activities. This may not always be possible, but sticking to a familiar routine as best as you can provides a baseline of reassurance to ground your child while traveling, vacationing in a new place, visiting with friends/family, or just spending more unstructured time at home than usual.

When planning, make sure to check for closures and scheduled maintenance so you can let your child know ahead of time if their favorite ride is going to be closed. Keep it simple and plan for lots of breaks in the itinerary if possible. It’s also a good idea to create an exit strategy plan ahead of time. That way if things go wrong during an activity, you have a strategy in place to exit quickly, quietly, and gracefully.


Choose appropriate activities

Whether you’re planning a vacation or a staycation, make a list of spring break activities ahead of time that you and your child can enjoy together. Include your child in the planning and let them have input on how you decide to spend your days while on vacation. Look for opportunities to incorporate your child’s interests and hobbies and how these activities will fit best into your child’s routine. Be sure to choose activities that are appropriate for your child’s abilities and sensory needs. If visiting a popular site or attraction, see if they offer disability passes or have a sensory-friendly time to visit. Find quiet spaces where your child can take breaks and recharge. Taking breaks throughout the day can help both you and your child feel more calm and relaxed.


Create a visual schedule

Children with autism often benefit from visual aids to help them understand and follow routines. Break down the planned trip or activity to help your child understand exactly what will be happening. Include specific details so your child knows where they’re going, when the activity is taking place, what will be happening during the activity, and who is going to be joining you. Take advantage of online resources like relevant youtube videos, virtual tours, and google maps to help your child become familiar with your plans. Creating a visual schedule that outlines the details of your daily activities can help your child feel more in control and confident about the day’s events.

Bring comfort items

When traveling or visiting new places, it’s important to bring comfort items for your child. These could include favorite toys, blankets, books, or other items your child finds soothing like noise-canceling headphones or sunglasses. Having these items can help your child feel more comfortable and secure in unfamiliar environments. Pack extras of essential items and bring a list to make sure they all make it back home with you.

Inform others about your child’s needs

Let new people you meet know about the needs of your family. When you explain in advance sometimes, they will make accommodations like reducing wait times or adjusting seating arrangements. When people are aware they are usually more understanding in general.

When traveling or participating in group activities, it’s important to inform others about your child’s needs. Let teachers, camp counselors, or hotel staff know about your child’s autism and any specific needs they may have. This can help ensure that your child receives the appropriate support and accommodations.

Get support and be patient

Despite your best planning, everything may not go according to plan. Be flexible and prepared to adapt and adjust your plans as needed to accommodate your child’s needs. Seek out support. If you are planning on staying home, reach out to friends or family members who can provide additional support during the break.


A little extra preparation can go a long way toward making this Spring Break a time of safe, fun, and excitement for all of your loved ones!  So what are you waiting for, start planning!


Have questions or need help finding an accredited ABA therapy? It’s never too early to start ABA therapy. Kids as young as two can benefit from the gold-standard treatment for autism.

Here at The Behavior Exchange, all of our programs and services, including One-on-One Therapy, Behavior Exchange Early Start (B.E.E.S.) for preschoolers, and Social Skills Groups for school-aged kids, are focused on social skills development in the context of a child’s individual goals.

Our hives in North Texas (PlanoFriscoProsper) and Boulder, Colorado are built to encourage learning and fun for children of all abilities. 

For more information and to get started, email or complete this contact form. We can help your child learn social skills and reach their full, meaningful potential!





Ashvina attended University of Bombay and graduated with a Bachelors of Commerce. She got her Montessori Diploma in 1985 and taught ever since. Ashvina came to TBE in January of 2016 as Admin Assistant. During the years she got the opportunity to learn and work in different departments such as HR, Finance, Office Manager and Executive Assistant. Last summer TBE bought billing in house and her current focus area is Revenue Cycle Management. She is detail oriented and enjoys working with people. Ashvina volunteers to deliver meals to seniors and local shelters on the weekend. She loves to spend time with her family and grandkids. Ashvina loves her job because she enjoys hearing different points of view, and she feels her contributions help fuel the direction of our company.

Working with children comes naturally to Angela. Her mom was a special education teacher for 30 years and often had Angela join her for Take Your Child to Work Day. And in high school, Angela spent every summer as the nanny for a little boy with an autism spectrum disorder. It was this experience where her passion for working with children with autism started to blossom.

From there, she went on to graduate from Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences. She learned about Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in a non-normative development class and from that moment knew that ABA would be her life’s work.

Angela moved to the DFW area shortly after and began working at The Behavior Exchange as a therapist. She worked on her Master’s in Behavior Analysis at the same time. A year after graduating, she earned certification as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst.

Now, as a Clinical Director at The Behavior Exchange, she brings a life-long passion to her work, holding a special place in her heart for children with limited language skills and working closely with families to develop healthy sleep habits.

Danielle’s passion for working with families is deeply personal and from the heart. Her younger brother has an autism spectrum disorder, and through their journey as a family, she found her purpose in life as an advocate for individuals with special needs.

After graduating from the University of North Texas with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies, Danielle began volunteering at The Behavior Exchange. She saw passionate therapists, meaningful change for clients, and families with hope for the future. After a summer of volunteering, she officially joined the team as Director of Admissions and found her home with The Behavior Exchange family.

With her extensive experience working as a client advocate with insurance providers, Danielle perseveres to help individuals of all ages and abilities receive the services they need to reach their full potential. She feels truly honored by each and every family who entrusts The Behavior Exchange to be part of their journey and is committed to the organization’s core values, mission, and goal of being a beacon of hope for the community.

Adam has always had a passion for helping individuals of all ages thrive and reach their full potential. He’s also an enthusiastic musician, songwriter, leader, and devoted family man, who has been helping children and team members grow with The Behavior Exchange since 2010.

Prior to joining the team at The Behavior Exchange, Adam was a mortgage loan consultant and grad student, pursuing his master’s degree in Education at the University of North Texas. He graduated in 2013 and also earned a graduate academic certificate in Autism Intervention. The following year, after years as a Behavior Therapist and seeing first-hand the power of ABA and the meaningful impact it can have on children and their families, Adam became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. He then commenced from the Stagen Leadership Academy after completing the Integral Leadership Program (ILP), a 52-week practice-based program designed to develop executives serious about transforming themselves, their teams, and their organizations.

Adam is truly grateful to be a part of a dynamic, inspiring and compassionate team, and he’s dedicated to bettering the lives of all children and their families through the delivery of the highest quality of ABA services, while supporting the amazing team at The Behavior Exchange.

Soraya is from South Africa and moved to Texas in 1996. She graduated from The University of Texas and pursued a career, at that time, in Education. Soraya taught at a Montessori school for a few years and then took on a leadership role.

During her time in the education system, Soraya realized her passion was to assist children with special needs. So she joined The Behavior Exchange as a therapist, transitioned into a supervisory role in 2017, and a year and a half later, was promoted to Clinical Operations Manager.

She quickly learned the ins and outs of ABA operations and scheduling and successfully collaborates across departments to ensure The Behavior Exchange continues to provide quality services to clients and their families. She’s thankful to be part of such an amazing organization and excited to see what the future holds.

You could say Walter’s career started when he spent hours as a young child drawing superheroes and coloring maps. This passion, along with extraordinary swimming skills, landed him a full swimming scholarship at Texas Christian University, where he graduated in 1997 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Graphics.

During the next 13 years, his design and art direction skills, conceptual-thinking abilities, and marketing-savvy know-how were honed at a few prestigious advertising and marketing agencies around the Dallas area. In the mid 2000s, he helped his wife Tammy Cline-Soza (founder and CEO of The Behavior Exchange) create a unique and concise brand for her new business. From logos and websites to uniforms, brand voice and visuals, Walter has been the main creative force for all things The Behavior Exchange.

Aside from giving birth to The Behavior Exchange brand, Walter is helping Tammy raise two amazing, beautiful children, River and Sierra. In his spare time (the two minutes he’s got per week), you can find Walter illustrating iconic landmarks of Dallas and Texas or looking around for this next open-water swim. Once he gets back in shape.

After 20 years of building The Behavior Exchange, literally from the ground up,
Tammy couldn’t be more proud of the team, culture, and organization that it has become.

As a family helping families, The Behavior Exchanges looks for opportunities that will make the biggest impact and produce life-changing outcomes – for clients, families, and even for team members. Tammy believes that if a team, a family, a community takes care of each other, the possibilities are endless and the relationships built along the way can make life more enriching and challenges easier to navigate. You could say her goal has been to build a kind of utopia full of support, love, and expertise that brings the best services possible to the community and ensures more families have access to those services.

Tammy and her family have dedicated their lives to the mission of The Behavior Exchange and continue to grow, learn, cultivate, challenge, support, and create better models for success. To that end, she is committed to her own leadership development and actively participates in advanced training, mentoring, and deep self-exploration on how to live out her purpose to love and support her family and help others reach their full potential. She takes her position very seriously and tries to serve as a channel for what the universe wants to come to fruition.

She also loves travel, gardening, being creative, MUSIC!, tennis, yoga, meditation, journaling, reading, being in nature, adventures, and more than anything, spending time with her husband Walter and their two beautiful children, River and Sierra.