When our son was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 5, our Paediatrician provided us with many helpful ideas and resources. One of her suggestions that has helped us a few times over the years, is carrying a document that we can provide to airport authorities. The letter she wrote explains some of the ways Autism can affect the ability to navigate complex social situations — like all of the things that come along with air travel.
I have copied the letter below, and suggest asking the same from your doctor or Paediatrician. It has helped us to navigate through some lengthy lines at security, and yes, I actually had to provide this proof one time to help us bypass a long line when our son was getting agitated by his surroundings.
“This is a letter informing you that I follow _______. He has been diagnosed with Autism which is a developmental condition that affects his ability to comprehend some social situations and makes him extremely sensitive to sensory information. These features could cause significant difficulties in large crowded environments, such as airports. The family is planning a trip and will be travelling by plane. Thus, they will need to get through the busy crowded airport which could potentially be extremely challenging with ______’s developmental condition. Standing in long lines for extended periods of time in crowded environments with lots of people could trigger significant behavioural issues and distress for _________ and his family. Therefore, any assistance that can be provided to his family to help expedite their trip through the airport and throughout their travels would be greatly appreciated.
I hope that this letter will help explain some of _________’s medical and developmental needs and will help to alleviate some of the potential problems which may present themselves during his family’s travel. Hopefully you will be able to provide _______ and his family with any assistance possible to help ease their trip which would be greatly appreciated”
Wishing you safe and happy travels,