Autism v Holiday Flights
My daughter is hoping to plan a holiday abroad next year but her 7yr old son is Autistic. He's high functioning (no real learning problems) but is basically one of those children you might see out & about and think they are being naughty when in fact they're working themselves into a tizzy due to encountering something that stresses them out. Our boy doesn't like alarms so getting into shops/supermarkets can be a trial - he also doesn't like hand driers or air fresheners so finding public toilets whilst out can be really stressful.
Anyway, there's a chance of going to visit her partners family in Spain but this will obviously involve a flight. My daughter believes she will be able to manage him on the actual flight but it's the whole airport & security checks that are concerning her.
Has anyone with an autistic family member/friend been able to ornanize something with an airline/airport where the child or whole family can be escorted through security without having to wait in a queue? We should be able to distract him enough with talking about the technology of the bags going through the x-ray etc but he'd work himself up to a mega melt-down if he had to wait in line watching everyone else go through.
I seem to recall seeing something on TV some years back where people who were afraid of flying could do a couple of visits to an airport, culminating in a short flight. That sort of thing would potentially be helpful - not for the fear of flying bit but because it would be a 'real' flight and he'd have to have to go through the whole security aspect and discover that there's nothing to get stressed about.
He is a clever little chap and once he's done something he's usually fine for the next time - because he can remember that he's done it before so there's nothing to worry about.
Any help of advice would be greatly appreciated - thank you.
Hi I'm based in Ireland & in Dublin airport we have a service called "airport genie",it's a payable service with different levels of help,your airport may offer a similar service.Or have you thought about contacting the airport directly & explaining the situation & asking them what if anything they can do to help & accommodate you. You've hit a nerve with me as my young niece is in the process of being diagnosed & my sister will face these same situations in the future.I hope you find & encounter a positive resolution to your situation & if possible let me know how you get on.Thanks!! :)
That sounds exactly what I had in mind - thank you. The autistic society can provide letters to give to either airports/airlines but I think they're generally aimed for specific travel plans etc, I was looking to do something in preparation of the 'main event' but will look into it properly.
After your advice, I will contact our local airports (B'ham, Bristol & Cardiff) to see if they do something similar to yours.
Good luck with your neice's diagnosis - the condition is less common for girls apparently and I'll certainly let you know if I get anywhere with my enquiries.
That would be great thanks. My friends son is autistic & travel regularly to Germany,I'm on hols in France at the moment but I'll ask her advice when I get home,she's been able to give us great advice & encouragement,I'll let you know what she says.
Originally Posted by Minimunchkins
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