Air Travel tips for children with Autism

Air Travel tips for children with Autism

Children with Autistic spectrum disorder have poor social skills. They fail to understand facial expressions or emotions in other people. Each child with ASD would need his or her own individualized behavioral program to help them with these differences.
Getting your child with Autism Spectrum Disorder on to a Flight could be a nightmare for some of you. Children with ASD can have meltdowns in environments that are unfamiliar and alien for them. These meltdown can result in security concerns at the airports like the wearing of seat belts, issues of being seated while take-off and landing, and many more. Many airports have started providing special training to airline staff and airport staff to handle individuals with autism and cater with their needs.

Travel Tips for Children with ASD

But, as a parent what are some of the things that could be done to prepare the child for the flight?

Create a social world story. You can mimic the air travel by creating similar scenarios at home which will help them have a first-hand experience. You can even ask them to explain it back to you.

Get them used to the ear-popping phenomena by taking them into an elevator of a skyscraper and giving them a firsthand experience.

1.Mark the date of travel on the calendar and ask them to tick off those dates.

2. Take one of their favorite things while you pack; for instance, their toy or favorite blanket.

3. Take some meals with you that they like because sometimes they might refuse to take anything from the flight.

4. Try and get them to exercise and release the excess energy that they have. This would make them sleepy and tired when they reach the airport.

5. Some children might need medication to eliminate their anxiety and get them through the flight period. So, you could go on and speak to your doctor and see if any prescription is advocated.

Keeping these points in mind might help you with your next flight journey with your child who has got behavioural issues. Autism awareness and an understanding about the disorder can help you communicate with your child in a better way. For any queries or consultation for the same, you can connect with Neuropedia, the best Pediatric neurosciences center in Dubai.

Dr. Arif Khan is a British Board certified Consultant Pediatric Neurologist. He is currently the CEO/Medical Director and Founder of Neuropedia Children’s Neuroscience Center in Dubai and is also an Associate Professor (Adj) at Mohammed Bin Rashid University, Dubai.He is a visiting Consultant Pediatric Neurologist at King's College Hospital Dubai. He is also the Director of Pediatric Neuroscience at Burjeel Medical City, Abu Dhabi. He founded and developed the first comprehensive children’s neuroscience center in the region called Neuropedia. It has now successfully completed 3 years of service to the regional population and has extensive plans to reach out to Northern Emirates. Dr. Khan had been working as a Consultant Pediatric Neurologist at the University Hospitals of Leicester and has been the lead clinician for complex epilepsies, vagal nerve stimulation service and ketogenic diet in the region. He also worked as Head of Children’s Services at American Center for Psychiatry and Neurology, UAE prior to his current assignments. He is an avid writer, authoring more than 40 peer-reviewed and public health publications. He has recently authored a book called Pediatrics – A clinical handbook. His professional memberships include fellowship of the royal college of pediatrics and child health, core member of the European pediatric neurology society and member of the British Pediatric Neurology Association. He has been a lecturer for medical students at the University Hospital of Leicester and has been teaching on the national training courses like pediatric epilepsy training course. He is also an accredited examiner for the Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health.

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