Practice ‘Flights’ Help Kids With Disabilities Prepare For Airplane Travel
An innovative program in Philadelphia is helping children with autism get comfortable with air travel by simulating everything from check-in to security and boarding procedures.
Under an agreement with the local airport, security personnel and several airlines, kids with autism and their families are being invited to a series of test “flights.”
Though the plane never actually leaves the ground, the families do everything they normally would to plan for and take a trip, including bringing bags to the airport, checking-in for their flight, going through security and boarding a real plane. Once on the aircraft, passengers receive complimentary snacks after their flight has reached cruising altitude and the captain turns off the fasten seat belt sign.
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The exercise was prompted after one girl with autism became agitated after learning that only one of her parents could pre-board the plane with her. Following the ordeal, the girl’s pediatrician contacted airport officials in Philadelphia to arrange for mock flights so that other children with disabilities could be better prepared to take vacations.
Now, organizers are hoping to expand the program to airports nationwide, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. To read more click here.