Traveling with those on the autism spectrum


SAM: FLYING IS STRESSFUL FOR NEARLY EVERYBODY…RUSHING, WAITING, CROWDED SPACES, TIGHT QUARTERS… SO YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW MUCH THAT’S MAGNIFIED FOR FAMILIES WITH A CHILD WHO IS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM… THIS WEEKEND DELTA AND THE AUTISM SOCIETY OF HAWAII HELD A WALK – THROUGH AT DANIEL K. INOUYE INTERNATIONAL CALLED DENNIS MAHER: “INDIVIDUALS ON THE SPECTRUM MAY BE ON A PLANE AND GET AN ANXIETY MOMENT AND GO INTO A BREAKDOWN THAT IS DISRUPTIVE SO WE’RE TRYING TO CREATE THIS PROGRAM TO PUT THEM MORE AT EASE SO AS FAMILIES WANT TO FLY THEY HAVE LESS WORRY ABOUT THEIR CHILD.” 20 KEIKI AND THEIR FAMILIES WENT THROUGH EVERYTHING….CHECK-IN, T-S-A, WAITING FOR THE FLIGHT, AND BOARDING THE PLANE BEFORE GETTING A SNACK…THEY EVEN GOT TO SEE THE COCKPIT… JOHN MICHAEL BARLUDO: “YEAH I WAS GETTING EMOTIONAL WHEN HE EVEN WALKED TO THE COCKPIT, THAT’S LIKE A HUGE STEP FOR HIM, YEAH BUD? YEAH.” WILLARD OSHIRO:”IT’S REALLY WALKING THEM THROUGH THE WHOLE PROCESS, MAKING THEM FEEL COMFORTABLE, AND MAKING THE PARENTS COMFORTABLE WITH THEIR KIDS UP THERE.” IT’S NOT JUST FOR THE KIDS….CREW AND FAMILIES GET TO LEARN HOW TO HANDLE REAL LIFE SITUATIONS….AND MANY ARE EXCITED TO GET TO FLY FOR THE FIRST TIME… JOHN MICHAEL BARLUDO: “HE LOVES THE AQUARIUM, THE ULTIMATE GOAL IS TO GET HIM TO THE AQUARIUM IN MAUI, AND PERHAPS THE AQUARIUM IN CHICAGO.” JOHN MICHAEL BARLUDO: “THERE’S THAT FEELING OF NOT BEING ALONE, AND IT WAS HUGE ESPECIALLY FOR HIM TO EVEN BOARD A PLANE.” ANOTHER KEY IS FELLOW PASSENGERS ALSO HAVING PATIENCE IN A STRESSFUL SITUATION…. JOHN MICHAEL BARLUDO: “I THINK TO HAVE WITH GUYS LIKE HIM, AND WITH PATIENCE IS A LOT OF UNDERSTANDING AND YOU KNOW THAT RIGHT?” SAM: JUSTIN IS COMING UP NEXT WITH A

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