Airport Awareness


As it’s holiday time many people will be jetting off to sunnier skies and new destinations. We have not yet been brave enough to venture onto a plane with J. There are just too many unknown variables. How will he react to waiting around in the airport? Will the small space in the seat in the plane be too restricting? Will the noises the plane makes be distressing for him? Will he have trouble with his ears? How will we keep him amused for the duration of the flight? I don’t think he would be allowed to run up and down the aisles for several hours and he certainly wouldn’t be allowed to open the door to go for a wee stroll. Maybe this is something we will consider when he’s a bit older and can perhaps be reasoned with in some manner.

For now our trips or holidays involve a car journey, beaches, parks, museums and the occasional theme park. He’s happy enough with that and has a great time pointing out the trucks, tractors, vans and buses along the way. At least if he’s upset or needs changed, we are able to do this safely. I once tried to change his nappy on a train and it was not fun! I can’t imagine what airplane changing facilities are like.

For anyone brave enough to venture abroad on a plane with their child there is some help available. I didn’t know this before but my sister’s friend, who is an air hostess, sent me a link to a guide for Manchester airport. There are three booklets (one for each airport terminal) aimed at parents and carers of  children on the Autistic Spectrum.

Airport Awareness – Manchester

These guides give information about all of the parts of the terminal and the journey through it. There is also space to write about your journey and some checklists of things you will see along the way. They look good and I certainly think they would be helpful in helping to know what to expect and talking about the journey in advance, as well as giving children some activities to help them on the day. It would be great if other airports followed suit.

There is a webpage on the NAS website which gives details of who to contact if you are travelling through airports in Scotland, these points of contact should be able to give advice to help make your journey through the airport a little easier:

Airport Awareness Scotland -NAS

The following page also gives some advice/tips for travelling on holiday with children with ASD:

Going on Holiday -Ambitious About Autism

Bon voyage!

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