Monarch Center for Autism Cleveland Ohio

Resources to Help with Flying

Traveling with autistic child is a challenge for both you and your child. Planning in advance and prepping yourself definitely helps. Below are some air travel tips:35

  • First of all, notify your airlines or travel agent as far in advance as possible and let them know if your child will need assistance at the airport.
  • If at all possible, travel off-peak hours and use computerized check-ins.
  • Some airlines have "special assistance coordinators." If your airlines happens to have one, request to have them meet you at the airport when you arrive and have them help you with your child and to get your luggage to the gate.
  • Tell the Security Officer if you think your child may become upset during the screening process and offer suggestions on how to best to screen your child to minimize an outburst.
  • If there's one thing that you must bring with you, it's a copy of your child's diagnosis. If you're not able to use computerized check-ins, you can show the paperwork to the airlines and ask for accelerated check-ins and security clearance. It can also come in handy at the places you plan on visiting where there are long lines.
  • At the boarding gate, always listen for the call for passengers with young children.
  • It really helps to pack favorite toys, books, and puzzles to occupy the time. Also pack your own snacks, juices, etc.
  • Make sure your child has with him an I.D. tag with his recent photo and your cell phone number (and hotel number). Include his special conditions especially if he's non-verbal.

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