Between travelling to the airport, navigating through security and customs, to the flight itself, the idea of plane travel can be very daunting for an autistic person or their family. Luckily, however, airports are growing more conscious of the access needs of autistic passengers.
There are several supports available when travelling through our airports. The level of supports varies between airports. The find out more about these supports, just read below.
Cork Airport provides Sunflower lanyards to indicate to staff which passengers may be in need of support. They also provide Suzie books, designed to help children cope with new situations, free of charge. They also provide social stories to help the child and family prepare ahead of time.
As seen above, the level of supports vary depending on the airport. As with any new environment, it’s best practice to research the location carefully beforehand and come equipped with coping strategies, such as noise-cancelling headphones and stim toys. If your airport comes with fewer autism supports, look out for already equipped Prayer Rooms in case you or your family member needs a sensory break.
For more information, check our interview with Conor McDermott about his research on the autistic community and airports.