Air travel tips for parents of children with autism

Summer vacations are going on and that means travelling for many families.

Travelling with kids on the autism spectrum may be a little challenging for parents. Air travel can become a tense experience due to the cramped space and environment.

Here are some tips for parents of children with autism who might be planning to travel by air.

  • Make plans well ahead of the travel date, as much as possible.
  • Travelling with a child on the autism spectrum is not just about selecting a flight and booking a ticket. It is also important to prepare for the time that will be spent on the flight.
  • You can check with the airline if they offer any special privileges for children with autism, such as faster boarding and security checks.
  • Try and book a window seat so that the child can sit there and look out.
  • Tell the child about the environment that is expected during a flight. Make them aware through pictures or videos about airports, security checks, flights, and other people that will be there.
  • You can also use stories to tell the child about airports and getting on the airplane. Repeat these stories so that the child remembers them and does not feel out of place while travelling.
  • Carry some items with you to keep your child distracted and busy. This could be a favourite blanket, toys, pictures, a colouring book with colours.
  • In case the child does not feel comfortable, be prepared to handle the anxiety attacks.
  • Do not get nervous, keep calm yourself, and enjoy the ride.

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