Traveling Safely With a Child Who Has AADC Deficiency

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by Mary Chapman |

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Advanced planning is important when traveling with a child who has aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) deficiency.


Be sure to take your child to see his or her primary physician at least a month before you leave. During the visit, the doctor can review your son’s or daughter’s medical history,  your travel plans, and personal circumstances. You can learn which medications or vaccinations you’ll need for your trip and things you can do to stay healthy during your travel.

If you are traveling abroad from the U.S., check with the U.S. Embassy or consulate at your destination to determine whether medicines you plan to bring with you are allowed at your destination. Make sure you bring enough medication to last throughout the trip. Consider dividing medication supplies into separate pieces of luggage in case one suitcase gets lost.

Be sure to take with you your child’s medical alert information, along with a letter from the doctor describing their medical condition, medications, potential complications, and other pertinent medical information.

If healthcare is needed overseas, be prepared to pay in cash, if necessary. Also, consider buying travel health insurance or even medical evacuation insurance, which will help pay for emergency transportation from a remote area to a hospital if needed. Check out emergency and hospital facilities at the location you wish to visit, making sure they have the capability and capacity to care for a child with AADC deficiency.

Getting there

Speak to a travel company for advice about traveling with a disabled child. Also, determine the easiest mode of travel for your child and yourself. Learn what the rules and regulations are regarding wheelchair accessibility if your child is using one.

Include a travel health kit in your carry-on luggage, which could include first-aid supplies, medications, sunscreen, insect repellent, and anything else you think you or your child may need.

If you are planning a cruise, check with the cruise line before booking to make certain items such as a wheelchair will be available. (Note: Some cruises also cater to travelers with special needs.)

At your destination

Find out whether a wheelchair will be available at your destination. For power wheelchairs, consider the destination country’s electrical infrastructure reliability, voltage, and electrical plug type. Resources, including the European Network for Accessible Tourism, can connect you with medical equipment providers.

More information

The following resources provide more information about traveling with a child with a disability.


Last updated: July 15, 2020


AADC News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.