For kids with autism, a ‘flight’ to ease stress

Air travel rehearsal at Baltimore was done to alleviate stress for children with autism.

By: AP | Linthicum | Updated: December 8, 2014 1:10:02 pm
autism-1-main Nathaniel Epstein, 14, smiles as he sits in his seat on an airplane at the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Saturday, Dec. 6, 2014, in Linthicum, Md., during Wings for Autism, an airport rehearsal for children with autism spectrum disorders, their families and aviation officials. Families took part in a typical airport experience, from check-in and security to boarding a plane, with the intention of alleviating some of the stress of air travel for children with autism. (Source: AP)

With boarding passes in hand, children with autism spectrum disorders and their families took part in an air travel rehearsal at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. Fifty families experienced a typical day at an airport, from check-in and security to receiving peanuts and pretzels from flight attendants onboard a Southwest Airlines jet for a 30-minute simulated “flight” that never left the gate.

Rehearsals like this one originated with a Massachusetts-based chapter of The Arc, an advocacy organization for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. The goal is to alleviate some of the stress of air travel for children with autism.

autism7 Malkia Wageed, left, looks at airplanes with her son, Tylee Lynn, 12, at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. (Source : AP)

 

autism-6 Xavier Perry, 5, looks out of an airplane window at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. (Source : AP)

 

autism-5 Carolina Harp points out a boarding pass to her son Tomas, 7, as her son Mateo, 9, who is autistic, plays a video game after they checked in at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, (Source : AP)

 

autism-4-main Jennifer Langley follows her son, Elliott Tillman, 4, on a moving walkway at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. (Source : AP)

 

autism-3-main Cameron Vinson, 11, raises his arms as he stands in a body scanner at a security checkpoint at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. (Source : AP)

 

Autism-2-main Monica Sanjur reads with her son, Patxi Uy, 11, as they wait at their boarding gate at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. (Source : AP)

 

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