Autism Spectrum Disorders, Asperger, Down Syndrome, Aniseness, Panic

There are no barriers that we cannot overcome!

How many doubts and fears! People with various intellectual and developmental disorders have trouble coping with change. Normally they have an established routine and any change, no matter how small, can increase the level of stress.

Traveling is synonymous with constant changes. However, the levels of tension that this can generate could be reduced by preparing the traveler in advance.

down triste

The importance of the family

For all of us (and especially if we suffer from disorders), family members are considered essential components in our development and growth and their presence can be crucial when planning a leisure activity.

These leisure and tourism activities not only positively impact the person with disorders but also the rest of the family members.

Practice makes a master

Some early rehearsals with outings and short walks will serve as a test, providing us with a lot of information for future longer trips.

FUNDAMENTAL, a good organization

Anticipate that there will be changes

The habit of following a routine will make it difficult to face changes. When giving new indications, one must be firm and constant since they will not be assimilated immediately.

Make a list of places to visit

As long as there is advance preparation, any place will be good. Aside from our interests, prioritize those that match your accessibility needs.

Visit those places in advance

To see what changes could affect us, locate possible uncomfortable places or situations and prepare everything for when we arrive with the family. Use technology to view virtual tours.

Inquire about special services

Ramps, medical centers and specialized care, rest rooms and everything we need depending on our disability.

See photos and videos ot the place before the trip

This will help us feel calmer when we arrive, since it will be a «known» place.

Choose the best dates and times

Travel in low season and non-peak hours to try to avoid crowds and waiting lines.

No need to go all over the place

It is better that they have small achievements and go slow and relaxed! Ohmmmm…

Try to respect meal and rest times

It is not necessary to change all habits at once. Try to stay without big changes.

There are a number of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components of Developmental and Intellectual Disorders that can make traveling by any means of transportation difficult

a) Novel environments

In particular, the plane is a unique means of transportation and its process is unlike any other. For this reason, going to an airport for the first time can be overwhelming because of this environment. 

b) Sensory processing 

As previously discussed, airports are extremely sensory stimulating environments and are full of auditory, visual and tactile stimuli.

Queues, being close to other passengers, separating them from their belongings, noise from people and loudspeakers. Ideal in many cases the use of anti-noise hearing protectors, whether they are earphones or simple silicone plugs.

Casco Antiruido
Noise Protector

c) Communication 

Communication between people can be verbal or non-verbal. In either case People with these specific disorders are characterized by difficulties in communication, either verbal or non-verbal. and this multiplies outside its usual environment. In this case, letters with pictures (Picture Exchange Communication System – PECS), manual blackboards or tablets are especially useful.

d) Socialization 

The different encounters and relationships that are established during the trip with other people. Many of the tourist activities require socialization at some level: with other tourists, with staff or workers, etc.

e) Availability of information

Sometimes, the lack of information about adapted services is a barrier for the person with disorders and their families. We do not always find timely and specific information to help us.

Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS)

Tips for organizing your plane trip

The trip (especially by air) is the part that can be most complicated for us. So here are some recommendations that can help you do the entire operation in a calmer way.

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    Use the ride to the airport to explain the process that will take place and begin to prepare the most sensitive family member.

    Try to arrive early at the terminal to avoid rushing, queues and stress.

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    Check in online to obtain the boarding pass. Reserve the seat in advance, so you can choose the best options according to your needs (near the bathroom, window, etc.)

    Most airlines offer priority service to people with disabilities. Remember to inform and request it in advance ( See the Section Traveling by Plane )

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    Inform the security team in advance so that they know that you are traveling with a person with a disorder, especially people with ASD (more sensitive).

    The metal detector should be passed first by one of the responsible adults so that when the person with a disorder passes there is someone waiting on the other side.

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    Choose a place away from the tumult and noise to wait for the plane with maximum peace of mind. You can take advantage of the moment to buy him a book or doll to help him while he waits. A little gift and prize is always welcome!

    Take the opportunity to be more comfortable waiting in a confectionery, food court, or better yet a VIP lounge.

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    They can select whether to upload at the beginning or at the end.  In general, it is preferable to wait calmly in the boarding area and enter last , with the rest of the passengers already seated and without constant movements in the aisle of the plane.

    Notify the hostesses in advance that you are traveling with a person with special needs. During the trip, prepare the entire battery of items to keep them distracted and busy, Tablets, books, Notebooks, letters, etc.