5 Lessons Learned:

How to Plan your Flight With a Child with Autism

There is nothing that compares to the overwhelming feeling that comes when you fly with an autistic kid. With so much going on at the airport from the many security checkpoints to the huge crowds, loud announcements and bright lights to mention but a few of the many anxiety triggers in an airport. These are few of the many things that can worsen anxiety attacks on a child with autism. But then again there are measures you can take as a parent to help mitigate the situation and fly successfully and peacefully with your baby. Here are a few basic tips put together for you to get you started into preparing for and travelling with a child with autism. The following are some of the measures most parents have had a huge success with when it comes to flying with children with autism. Here are more or less effective strategies you can implement to get you started in the process.

For starters, you might want to choose the shortest flight that you can get for your specific route. Even better is if you found a short route that has no stopovers along the way with connecting flights et al. We all know just how boring the stop overs can be when on a long flight. Note that takeoff and landing are the two worst experiences you can have as a person with autism and this is what you get to avoid when you minimize on long flights. See, the turbulence that comes with landing and takeoff can trigger a very bad anxiety attack on a child with autism. While there is nothing really you can do about this downside of flying, you bet you will have a wonderful time when you avoid a repetition in a single journey.

The second important part when planning to fly with an autistic child is to help them prepare. This way, you will be helping them control their anxiety e.g. by helping pack their own backpack. Ensure they pack calming objects which they can have on their carryon bag, carry some earplugs or noise cancelling headphones, and don’t forget to include chewing gum on the package. Using chewing gum has worked for many in the past when looking to ease pain in the ears as the altitudes start to change. By the same token, ensure you pack some non-technology items with you to use during the flight. See, it is normal practice to have a couple of minutes during a flight when all technology is shutdown, hence the need to be psychologically prepared for that. This is best done when you have their favorite non-tech item to make the transition a positive experience for them. No matter how turbulent the flight will get, probably the best feeling in the world is to give positive words of affirmation constantly both before, during, and after the flight.