Flying is often an overwhelming process for most parents, let alone when travelling with an autistic child. 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. Luckily, there are simple measures you can take before, during and after the flight to help make the process less stressful to you and your child with autism. 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.
One secret that has worked for millions of parents with kids with autism is to choose the flying route with the shortest flight hours as possible. 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. See, going for a non-stop flight means you are avoiding the worst part of flying: takeoff and landing. This is because there is so much turbulence that can trigger a very bad panic attack for a kid with autism. Of course, nothing much can be done about this but cutting down on multiple stopovers can save the situation.
The other important measure you should take when travelling with an autistic child is to help them prepare. For example, helping your autistic child pack their backpack for the flight ahead can go along way in helping them prepare for the flight ahead. In their carryon bag, ensure you have packed enough chewing gums for the journey, noise cancelling headphones or earplugs and the calming objects they have used in the past. We all know how effective chewing gum is when looking to ease ear pain as the altitudes start to change. By the same token, ensure you pack some non-technology items with you to use during the flight. 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. 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.