How to Plan your Flight With a Child with Autism
Taking a flight for business or leisure or to visit family can be quite overwhelming for most people particularly when traveling with an autistic kid. Airlines and airports are filled with all sorts of triggers, you know the loud announcements, bright lights, security checkpoints, crowded places to mention but a few. These are things that can easily escalate a situation to a full-blown anxiety attack for an autistic child. 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.
To get you started, how about you ensure the flight is as short as possible? It would even be best if you could find the right route that has zero stop overs along the journey. We all know just how boring the stop overs can be when on a long flight. When you take a long flight, it means you will minimize the two worst experiences for an autistic person during flight: takeoff and landing. See, the turbulence that comes with landing and takeoff can trigger a very bad anxiety attack on a child with autism. No doubt you may not have much control over the turbulence, but then cutting down on multiple stop overs can save the day.
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. We all know how effective chewing gum is when looking to ease ear pain as the altitudes start to change. It might also be in your best interest to pack non-technology items. There will be a point during the flight when all technology will need to be shut down so its good to have the child mentally prepared for the shut-down. Of course, this is best achieved through non-technology items that your autistic child has associated with emotional stability and calming effects in the past. Last but not least, ensure you are constantly giving out positive words of affirmation to your autistic child all the time.