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Posted by graniteHELPLESS (U10650280) on Monday, 4th February 2008
Anyone ever flown with an Autistic Spectrum child?
We are a family party of 10 consisting of 3 adults (1 with dementia - my mother), kids aged 7,9 (ASD child),11.15.l6 (with her baby of 10months), 18, myself and my brother (mum.s carer). We are going to Florida for 3 weeks. The 16yr old has flown before (when she was 8) but none of the other children have. My mum hasn.t flown since before the onset of her dementia. Any tips would be appreciated as I haven.t flown since before having my children (over 20 years ago).
Posted by Alicat35 (U10981091) on Wednesday, 6th February 2008
My daughter is also autistic and we too are planning to fly this year. I too will be looking out for advice that anyone can give. The only thing i can advise is a visit to your local airport with your child just to watch the aeroplanes taking off and landing. My daughters special school did this. They made a morning of it and had lunch there at burger king. My daughter enjoyed this experience, but obviously this is no way near to experiencing the flight itself. There are childrens books about going on an aeroplane too. Topsy and Tim go on an aeroplane is quite fun!
Posted by Alicat35 (U10981091) on Wednesday, 6th February 2008
Have you read "Multicoloured Mayhem" byJacqui Jackson? A great book about a single mum parenting 7 children, a mixture of Adolescents and children with Autism,Asperger Syndrome and AD/HD. There is a fantastic chapter on Holidays: coping with change, which she talks about getting to the airport, at the airport, on the plane and their holiday difficulties and fun in Florida for 2 weeks. You may find some great advice in it and some travel tips too. I thoroughly reccomend it.
Posted by happymadmum (U7781374) on Sunday, 10th February 2008
hi, as a mum of a 12 year old with severe autism and learning disabilities we actually flew for the first and only time last year. i was petrified as he is a runner (very quick escapologist)
we filled in the questionaire from the company we were flying with which included all the extra equipment (buggy/ wheelchair) and medication etc. and when asked what assistance required we said that we will deal with his behaviour to keep familiaratity(sorry about spelling) and asked that he be able to board last so to limit the time on board( usually assisted are boarded first!) and was allocated the reserved seats at the front (added plus nearest to the toilets) as he likes to visit them as soon as he goes anywhere new safety net!!.he was brilliant laughed all the way there and even on holiday sat on the beach without being restrained with his grandma and grandad for four hours building sandcastles this being a child that can not sit still for two minutes!!! and needs wheelchair or wrist strap when outdoors he was a little angel !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by freekaren (U10946408) on Friday, 15th February 2008
Yes I have flown with my 2 ASD sons, but at different times. When the older one was younger we went on several short hops within the UK. The first time he did not understand the concept at all, tried to open the door while we were in the air, and looked totally baffled when we did get out that we were not in the same place where we had got on. However, that was just this first time, and like most things with them, it is the fear of the unknown, and subsequent flights he was much happier. Keeping him busy was another major point during the boarding wait & the flight itself. So, do as much prep work as you can, visit the airport before hand if that is possible, look at the planes taking off & landing etc. Also help him to plan the packing of his carry-on bag to ensure it has his favourite things and also enough to keep him occupied.
My younger son was different altogether, he loves flying, only gets slightly twitchy about the times, and worrying about being late, once we are checked in he is great! But again, I make sue he has things in his bag to keep him amused, esp if there are delays.
You soun like you are going to haveyour hands full, good luck with it all, and try and make a little time for yourself, it is your holiday too!!!
Posted by aspieturtle (U11085237) on Monday, 18th February 2008
If it is of any help, I am an Asperger's adult, and I recently made my first unnacompanied flight from Australia to the UK. I was very nervous about it, and the doctor prescribed diazapam to help control the anxiety. Beyond that, I informed the airline ahead of time about my autism and reconfirmed this at check in. I spoke to people who had made the flight before about what to expect on the flight and at the airports. I wrote arrival times, clock changes, and procedures in my diary that I always carry. I requested an aisle seat so that I wouldn't feel quite so crowded. I ordered bland meals as I can't tolerate much flavour, but went prepared with cheese sandwiches and crisps just in case (thank goodness, the food was awful, all dry and scratchy). I boarded early so as to avoid the crush of everyone trying to find their places at once. I took an ipod, and my favourite toy that sleeps with me. I wrapped the provided blanket right around me like a cocoon, stuffed the earphones in my ears and did my best to pretend to be elsewhere. I don't know how much of this will be of any use to your child, much depends on the level of functioning, but preparation is vital. See if the airline can give you pictures of inside the aircraft to make a story about what to expect. Take a familar toy and activities and favourite foods. If your child is noise sensitive, headphones or earmuffs are a good idea. If your child isn't used to these, it might be an idea to practice before hand. The airline I flew with had a wide range of childrens movies and cartoons available for free. I carry a card explaining that I have autism and sometimes behave in unusual ways when I am overwhelmed, with a few hints as to how to support me. This might be useful for you as parents, simply to help deal with interfering bystanders who want to tell you to give your child a good spanking. Some kids can benefit from having a responsible job to focus on to help deal with anxiety - maybe look after the baby's toys.
Hope this helps some. Good luck and have a good trip.
Posted by clando (U11157220) on Thursday, 28th February 2008
We flew to Florida in September last year with my two children. My son is 3 and my daughter 18 mts. My son has an ASD. They sat my husband and son two rows ahead of myself and my daughter and this caused him great distress as you can imagine. Luckly the air hostesses managed to move people around so that we could sit together.
I took a bag full of things to amuse him and he had his own tv in the head rest so we managed to keep him amused. There was the odd episode but it can't have been that bad because we've just booked up to go again at christmas.
The only thing we've done different is we have told them we need to sit together because he has an ASD.
Posted by wiggyp (U14586381) on Monday, 16th August 2010
a "warning" countdown a week before with a picture of a plane and why you are going on the flight.
warn the airline staff that the child is asd. they might get the child on first or last, maybe quiet seats if poss. etc.
maybe use melatonin or sainsburys sleepy time milk to relax them or bachs flower remedy.
their favourite obsessions (with us its pens and plastic pokemon toys) to help them calm down.
breathing techniques to settle them and look for a quiet area with minimal stimulae to take them to in the airport or at the back of the plane
or a portable dvd player/archos etc with films on a ds or psp
promise of a treat post flight treat.
my child is asd and goes on regular 8 hour flights, if its handled well they are fine. the worst bit for him is the popping ears so we keep a lot of sucky sweets and drinks at the ready.
Posted by devine63 (U14166755) on Friday, 20th August 2010
I wonder if the airport / airline would agree to allow you and your child to go aboard a plane which is not about to fly so he can see what it is like? If you can spare the time to take him to see the airport and (if possible the plane) that might help.
Posted by sesley (U4024157) on Monday, 20th September 2010
flying depends on your individaul and how they are able to cope and how much information they can process through age and mautrity. 2 years ago we took our ASD person on a plane having made social stories discribing the routine of cheching in,the security search bit the waiting to board and then going on the plane finding the seat,buckling up, taxi-ing down the runway and takeoff! He loved the whole experience on Take off as the engines powered up he says "on with the boosters!" and as it left the ground he went Wheee! all excited,though he did look apprehensive on landing,but he was ok . He loved the security bit getting searched the whole expreince was a success.So how your people cope is how well you can prepare them and what problems you think they might find difficult .
Posted by Otter25 (U14189455) on Tuesday, 28th September 2010
speak in depth with your child about what is going to happen. Don't give definite times, as if the flight leaves late your child with fret.
take ear plugs and eye cover- those people use to sleep on transport with. So your child can turn off if needed.
s/he is likely to spend a lot of time taking in the new details and then might sleep for the rest of the flight
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