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Old 08-29-2014, 10:48 AM   #1
jenannhayden
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Flying with 2 children with Autism

We are going over Christmas break with our 2 children with Autism (ages 7 and 10). We haven't flown with them since they were much, much younger. We are hoping to fly this trip. Any suggestions on how to make it successful? I am especially concerned about my 10 year old who is non-verbal and very busy/sensory seeking. We are flying Southwest.
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Old 09-01-2014, 05:54 AM   #2
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You will likely want to do a disability pre-board so you can get settled before the rush

Lots of videos showing all the travel steps also often helps also.
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Old 09-02-2014, 04:06 AM   #3
Disney_Princess83
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenannhayden View Post
We are going over Christmas break with our 2 children with Autism (ages 7 and 10). We haven't flown with them since they were much, much younger. We are hoping to fly this trip. Any suggestions on how to make it successful? I am especially concerned about my 10 year old who is non-verbal and very busy/sensory seeking. We are flying Southwest.
Are you able to create a storyboard to show him what will happen as you get ready to board, the flight ect? We have found this successful as they are prepared for that will happen. We have also used cue cards to show the next step as we are going through the stages.

As for sensory, do they used iPads? They can be really great on planes, especially with the noise cancelling headphones which can help block out general "plane" sounds and distractions.

We have also found "busy boxes" quite helpful. It's really just a shopping bag filled with small toys, colouring pages and pencils, a small soft toy which are great for keeping him busy as he checks out the bag of things.
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Old 09-02-2014, 07:14 AM   #4
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OP -- have you contacted your local airport? Some will do a tour for children with Autism. You can do it a few weeks before your trip, and then incorporate that into a social story to review with the kids. Even if the airport doesn't officially provide for such tours, you might try visiting the airport and watching other people. At most airports you can watch people at the check-in counter, watch them go through security, often even watching as they wait near the gate and line up, watch the jets take off and land. Of course, how much of that process you can see will depend on the set-up of your specific airport.

Enjoy your vacation!
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