Summer is the perfect time to travel with family, but it also can be stressful for those with ASD. Here are some tips and tricks to keep airplane traveling fun for your kiddo.
Exercise Prior to Travel
Because flying on an airplane involves long periods of sitting still, it is helpful to get out some energy before your flight. Encourage high motor activity, such as jumping on a trampoline, prior to leaving for the airport.
Planning for Airport Security
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has an established protocol for travelers that need special accommodations. Learn more here. Be sure to check in with an officer when arriving at the airport for additional help.
Make Boarding Easy
If your kiddo has a hard time boarding the flight with a larger crowd, be sure to notify the gate attendant. They will let you board first or last depending on your preference. Boarding first will allow you to skip the line and get settled quickly. Boarding last will allow you to avoid waiting for everyone else to board and spend less time on the plane.
During take-off and landing, give your kiddo candy, gum, or a chewing toy. Doing this will help prevent discomfort and help their ears pop during the flight.
Displaying a timer on a screen can help ease anxiety for your kiddo. Use your phone or tablet and place the device in front of your kiddo. Some flights with TV screens also display the flight itinerary and timing of events throughout the flight. Having this displayed can further help set expectations for your child.
Entertainment on the Plane
Be sure to pack a bag filled with your kiddo’s favorite toys, movies, books, coloring books, etc. Also, be sure to keep the bag easily accessible during the flight. If your kiddo enjoys more tactile activities, packing play dough, putty, or slime is also a great way to keep them entertained.