Parents who may be nervous to travel with children who have autism or other intellectual and developmental disabilities can breathe a sigh a relief thanks to a new program.
The "Wings for All" program, an initiative from the organization The Arc, is scheduling practice days at certain airports, according to The Points Guy, where children who need extra care can adjust to a busy, overstimulating airport and parents can learn how to prepare for flights in the future.
The most recent practice day took place on Saturday, October 19 at Dane County Regional Airport (MSN) in Madison, Wisconsin, where participating families exposed their children to TSA screenings, boarding a grounded plane, changing gates, and other stimulants including bright lights, constant noise, and crowds.
Additionally, the organization is constantly working to help airport and airline employees better understand how they can assist parents with special needs children. During practice days, employees get the opportunity to interact with parents and children while offering their services in an environment that’s catered to a child in need.
Parents who are interested in participating can sign up on the Wings For All website. If you’re too far away from the planned locations, you can also contact the organization to bring a practice day to an airport near you.
Here are future practice days at airports across the country:
Binghamton, NY: October 26
Cleveland, OH: October 26
Kansas City, MO: October 26
Anchorage, AK: November 2
Lexington, KY: November 9
Syracuse, NY: November 16