I'm after any advice/ideas to help.
My 9 yr old has never been on a plane before (for too many reasons to list here). We have been given a gift of flights to Oz by my parents so I can see my sister and her family that moved out there 10 yrs ago. It's a mightily generous and kind gift but I almost wish they hadn't. My son has major anxieties around insects - getting him outdoors is a mild nightmare every sunny day. He has sensory issues around clothing and hates his legs exposed to elements (unless in swimming pool) so shorts are a big no-no every Summer. He hates hot weather and says over and over that he is a 'winter boy'. We will be in Queensland over Christmas when it is at its most sweltering.
He also has sensory processing problems with smells - especially food and so the airplane will be hard when all the meals come out. He often has to vomit for this reason. Babies crying and other children chatting cause him huge distress, so again, I am very worried about the flight for this reason!
Things I am trying to do:
Youtube vids of airports/inside airplanes
Focusing on things he'll love in Oz (like swimming pool in sister's back yard)
Investigating where indoor places are close by that I can take him to (cinema/kfc etc!)
insect repellent and netted hats
Airport Assistance from airline
Distractions/headphones/gadgets on flight to distract/de-stress
Plan to see gp to discuss possible sleep-aids as he has rigid routine and I suspect he will not be able to switch off on flights.
Taking Vicks Vaporub on flight to help with smells.
Anyone that's been in similar boat and found something that really helped - please let me know! Or any suggestions gratefully received.
Thanks for reading. Em X
That is a very long flight. Perhaps if you have time before that trip, taking your son on a much shorter flight would help him become accustomed to flying. Also, for the loud conditions, noise-cancelling headphones/earplugs help block some of it out. Also, instead of being nervous about it yourself and risking having your son pick up on your own trepidation, try to put it to him as a new and exciting adventure. Try to get him interested in planes so he'll look forward to flying. I remember flying solo between continents as a child and with everyone spoiling me silly and giving me all sorts of attention, I never even had a chance to get scared.
Does your son e have anything he is currently very interested in? Something that could be worked into this trip?
my brother never wears short sleeve or shorts, in the summer he wears very light loose fine cotton trousers and shirt made from e the type of cotton you would find in a thin summer dress.
Thank you. I am quite an anxious person and am very aware that my feelings may inadvertently affect my son. I try to keep my nerves hidden but this is by far the biggest challenge we've ever faced as a family. I will heed your kind words of advice though and try to make it an awesome adventure for him! Like you, as a child, flying for me was an absolute adventure but then I never had anything like his sensory processing difficulties. I would love to take him on a shorter flight first but sadly finances mean its not an option. Thanks for your words- I shall have treats galore planned for him in my travel bag - some new ds games probably stashed away ready for emergency situations! And maybe some soothing music for me ;-)
Thanks Song. I shall look in to cotton trouser - breathable materials for him. My son loves Kirby and Super Mario Bros as well as Beano - so I will have magazines/games etc hidden away. I am guessing there will be movies on the flights as well - I will call airline and check I think as that would be a great way to kill time too. Thanks for your help X
Can you get him a Kirby blanket or plushy depending on what he would prefer and ask them to put it on his seat waiting for him?
I love it! Thanks - an awesome suggestion X
You may like to contact our Autism Helpline team who are best suited to answer. They can provide you with information and advice on your issue. You can call them on 0808 800 4104 (Monday to Thursday 10am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 3pm). Please note that the Helpline is experiencing a high volume of calls and it may take a couple of attempts before you get through to speak to an advisor.
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