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Airlines Helping Children with Autism Learn to Fly

Posted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 12:31


One of Dr. Wendy Ross' patients with autism had a difficult time flying, so she worked with Philadelphia International Airport to come up with a solution. Rick Dempsey, head of the airport’s Americans With Disabilities Act review committee, and Ross were able to get the airport to simulate the airport security and flying experience. "The committee thought it was a great idea. The [Transportation Security Administration] bought into it. We even got an airline, Southwest, to buy into the idea." Dempsey said. John Minor, Southwest Airline’s station manager, asked 3 crews if they would mind spending 30 or 40 minutes letting the kids and their parents board the plane, listen to flight attendant and pilot announcements, and get a sense of seats, noise, and lighting.

Ross trained all the airport employees and flight crews on autism. Ross is currently working with a number of museums and institutions to adapt some of their programs to children with autism.

Read original article: Children with Autism Practice Traveling on "Mock" Flights

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