Travel Tips for Children with Autism
The New York Times published an excellent travel article for parents of autistic kids. A few travel tips to ease the stress of traveling on a plane are:
• Visit the airport ahead of time to familiarize your child. If possible, participate in a mock boarding experience. If none is available, call your local airport to see if they will allow you to show your child the ticketing counters, security lines and waiting areas in advance.
• Call the TSA Cares hot line — (1-855) 787-2227 — 72 hours before your flight to alert them that you might need assistance going through security.
• Call the airline ahead to alert them that you might need to board early or require additional assistance onboard.
• Tell your child what to expect, including delays and long waits, in the airport and on the airplane. Philadelphia International Airport offers a story —www.phl.org/passengerinfo/Accessibility/Documents/SocialStories.pdf — that can be read to children to help them prepare.
• Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization, offers a page — http://ow.ly/eRoWn — with additional online resources and travel tips.
Read the full article at NY Times online at http://ow.ly/eRp5o. You may also want to purchase travel insurance with the option to cancel for any reason. The behavior of children with autism is unpredictable and if you are concerned about having to change your vacation or travel plans last minute, than a trip cancellation insurance policy with the option to cancel for any reason will help limit your nonrefundable travel tickets.
By Adam Bates