Seven Tips to Make Air Travel Easier for Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder
For those that live with autism spectrum disorder, whether living with it yourself, or living with a family member that is autistic, the thought of traveling may be very off putting. Autism can make travel hard due to the bright lights, loud noises, vibrations, and changes in routine. However this change in routine can also be very beneficial to those with autism. Whilst traveling by car may seem less daunting, air travel is sometimes the only option. These seven tips can help make your air travel just that little bit easier.
Seven Tips to Help Make Air Travel Easier
If you are looking at a vacation that is going to include air travel, you may be wondering how to survive the flight. Airports and airplanes can be daunting to those of us without processing problems. Preparing yourself and your autistic family member for the flight, can help make things go a little easier.
If this is your first flight for the autistic child or adult, it is best to not plan a long flight. A short flight can help everyone get used to the airport and plane without overloading anyone.
Let your autistic family member know what is happening, go through each step. For example, we are going on a vacation, we will drive the car to the airport, wait in line till our bags go through, wait for the plane to be ready, we will get on the plane, etc. Explain each step clearly, more than once, this can help with thought processing and set up a loose routine.
Many airports across the world have what is called autism access programs, contact your airport to see what they offer. This can give you access to places in the airport such as security, allowing you to practice before the actual day.
Calling the airline ahead of time to make a few requests can also help. Request assigned seats such as the bulkhead seats, which offer a little more space and no chairs in front.
Be sure to take comforting items such as blankets or stuffed animals, and don't forget special dietary items, snacks can often be a great distraction.
Don't forget medications, if there are certain medications your child may need during the flight, be sure to pack them on your carry on. Don't forget to pack any paperwork that security may ask for.
Preparation is key to making air travel easier for all involved. This preparation can be the difference between a somewhat peaceful flight and a flight that ends up stress filled and traumatic.
If you are looking for resources on traveling with special needs, contact us today at Special Globe. We work to empower those with special needs to travel and explore the world.
From Parents, Travel Writers,