On Saturday, our third Wings for Autism event took place at our Boston station and close to 500 participants turned out. For many families, this was the first time they stepped inside an airport—let alone board a plane—since welcoming an autistic child into their family; that meant 15 or more years for some people. Since airports can be intimidating for children with disabilities, some parents feel limited in their travel options and saw Wings for Autism as an opportunity to work through the challenges.
The Wings for Autism event was created to offer a safe environment for families to practice traveling with an autistic child, and be surrounded by others in similar situations. By getting comfortable with the airport and flight experience (without actually leaving the airport!), both parents and their children with special needs could gain the familiarity and confidence needed to fly for real when the time comes. Here’s what was practiced:
- The check-in process
- TSA screening
- Preparing for take-off