Going on aeroplanes can be hard enough for normal children to cope with. So it might not surprise you that children with autism can find the experience a lot harder , so in this post, we will be going over some tips that can help and your autistic child cope better when travelling on an aeroplane.
Tell a social story: You child will often like consistory, this is especially true when it comes to major things like flying. A good social story should include every step involved when going on an aeroplane, one example is Social story: Airplane ride by 3runningincircles.com (You may need to edit this social story to better suit your situation).
Leave plenty of time: You should leave as early as possible, as the closer to take off time you arrive at the airport the more hectic the experience will for your child with autism. The reason it can be more hectic is that there are more people that will be going through check-in and security at the same time meaning longer lines that can stress your child out. Another issue with not leaving plenty of time could mean you are more likely to be affected by traffic that could increase your chances of missing the flight altogether.
Take care of sensory issues: Aeroplane cabins can be very noise especially to people with autism, a really simple thing to do about this is to buy a pair of ear defenders. I would personally recommend that the ear defenders provide around 30db of noise cancellation (and if they are used for long periods of time make sure they are comfortable to wear).
Bring snacks with you: Children will often get more irritated when hungry and this can add to existing feelings of anxiety, so it may be good to bring some snacks with you when flying (Ofcause try to include healthy snacks like fruit but pre-packaged food could cause fewer issues when going you go through security) (List of food items allowed in the US).
Bring something along to distract your child: An effective way for you to help your autistic child to be calmer could be as simple as giving them something to do, An easy way to do this is to give them a book or even better for longer flights is to give them a tablet computer with plenty of games (Make sure you have some way of charging the tablet, as not all flights have electricity available I recommend you bring a portable battery charger).
We hope these tips have been helpful to you. If you have any suggestion or feedback please leave a comment below.