What about flying with our child- How do we avoid this potential nightmare?

airportFor children with autism and other special needs flying can be a challenge. The change in routine, the noise, the unfamiliar surroundings, the crowds all contribute to an overwhelming and overstimulating experience that can cause some major meltdowns.

Flying Preparedness Programs

Taking a child with autism on a plane requires some planning and practice runs. Do not fret; there are airports that provide programs for children with autism. They can experience flying without ever lifting off the ground. You still practice all of the normal routines such as packing your bags, ride to the airport, pass through security, and continue through the whole flying process including boarding, “flying” and deplaning. This adventure becomes a positive one as the airports pay special attention to the child by giving them some ‘goodies’ that they take home with them; which stamps a positive experience in their minds. These “practice runs” will help your family member with autism for flying. When the time comes children with autism will know what to expect and the process will not be as intimidating and ‘unknown’ to them. Do this as many times necessary and, over time the experience of flying will become a routine procedure. It is essential to have their travel buddy pack which you have crafted with the child prior to ALL trips- books, pencils, stickers, a favorite toy etc.

Here are 15 airports currently offering an Airport ‘Practice Runs’ in the U.S.1. Boston.

  1. Logan International Airport
  2. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  3. Philadelphia International Airport
  4. Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport
  5. New York: JFK International Airport
  6. Newark International Airport
  7. Detroit Metro Airport
  8. Phoenix: Arizona Sky Harbor International Airport
  9. Atlanta: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
  10. Atlanta: Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
  11. Washington D.C. Dulles International Airport
  12. Washington D.C. Ronald Reagan National Airport
  13. Tulsa International Airport
  14. Greensboro, North Carolina: Piedmont Triad International Airport
  15. Manchester, New Hampshire Regional Airport

There are other airports in other countries that are offering this program; however, this initiative is too lengthy to include. Please contact us and we would be happy to provide you with the information!

Remember the old adage that ‘practice makes perfect’!

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