Indispensable Tips to Help When Flying with a Child with Autism
Flying is often an overwhelming process for most parents, let alone when travelling with an autistic child. 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 things that can easily escalate a situation to a full-blown anxiety attack for an autistic child. The good news is that flying doesn’t have to be an overwhelming and emotionally stressful process if you take the right measures. 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. It would even be best if you could find the right route that has zero stop overs along the journey. You see, the longer the flight is the many stop overs it may have and this never augurs pretty well with autistic kids who are naturally very impatient. See, going for a non-stop flight means you are avoiding the worst part of flying: 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.
You might also want to help your kid with autism prepare for the flight ahead both physically and psychologically. Through this, you can play an important role in anxiety control through several measures such as helping the kid pack their 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. 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. And how best to do this than with their favorite non-technology item that they have associated with happy emotional feelings in the past? 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.