Getting through the airport security can be stressful for anyone, but it is challenging for people with autism. "Wings for Autism" is a program intended to prepare families with autistic children for an air-travel experience.
The program was hosted by The Arc of the Midlands in South Carolina at Columbia Metropolitan Airport on April 18. The program intended to expose children with autism to the routines of airport, like conveyor belts carrying luggage, the check-in desk, metal detectors and boarding a plane.
Delta Air Lines volunteered a special plane and crew for the event. The aim of the program was to alleviate some of the stress that families feel when traveling by air with an autistic child.
Melinda Moore, CEO of The Arc of the Midlands, said, "Airplanes can be stressful for anyone, particularly for people with lifelong disabilities. There are many families unable to travel by air because of the complications and uneasiness that comes with flying."
Wings for Autism provided an opportunity for airline, airport and Transportation Security Administration (TSA) professionals to observe, interact and deliver their services in a structured and learning environment.