We will be traveling by plane this Summer, something we haven’t done with the kids since E’s diagnosis. He’s been on a plane before. We’ve survived the drama of security checkpoints, boarding, flight time, him needing to go potty just as the “fasten seat-belts” light came on, and de-planing. None of it was easy. I was always a stressed-out mess. I get anxious when I travel by myself, much less when we venture into an airport with the kids.
But now, I *know*. We have a diagnosis. And I recently read an article on Logan Airport in Boston doing “training sessions” for autistic kids to get them used to the process. E-man has been through the process before, but it’s been awhile. He’s already made comments leading me to believe he is anxious and worried about the trip, particularly the airport and airplane portion. So, being the now-proactive mom, I started researching. Based on website info, it doesn’t seem the airports we will be using have any sort of accommodations in place for autistic children. Nor does the airline we will be flying. In a way, I guess I had assumed it would be on us anyways to navigate our child through, but wouldn’t you think with all the increase in awareness, more would be done to help? Essentially all I’ve found is that we might be able to ask for early, priority boarding. Even that is not a guarantee. And honestly, he would rather wait until the last minute to get on the plane anyways. Early boarding is not helpful in his mind.
So I’m worried, and I’m a bit anxious. It’s taking away some of my excitement for this trip. It’s going to be stressful, getting him through the airport, onto that plane, and through the ride to our destination. My heart rate increases just thinking about it. We have an early morning flight. Hopefully that will mean less chance for delays, and shorter security lines. We will pack his airplane bag with a present and all kinds of treats. We will load movies and probably a couple of new games onto the iPad. I’ll carry along his noise-blocking headphones. And we will pray, a lot. We will prep him as best we can. And then, on a wing and a prayer, we will be on our way, come what may.