Autism takes flight at ILM - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Autism takes flight at ILM

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Volunteers at ILM host first airport training for family's with autistic children. Volunteers at ILM host first airport training for family's with autistic children.

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Getting to your destination can be overwhelming for many families, especially if you are traveling with family members who are diagnosed with Autism. 

"It would have been over stimulating, he probably would have thrown up, totally shut down, and not use his words," one mother said.

To prevent those situations UNCW and Coastal Autism Solutions teamed up with Wilmington's International Airport to put on its first airport training for families with autistic children.  This training allowed parents and children to walkthrough the steps of the airport process at their own pace.

Another mother said, "It's wonderful to go to an event where you don't have anyone complaining about their behavior, and people don't question you because everyone is in the same boat."

Certified behavior analysts assisted the families as they went through check-in, security, gate changes, and baggage claim.  They even displayed picture boards that visually prepared the children for the next step.  Families said they were grateful for this opportunity and now traveling by plane is a realistic plan. 

"His great-grandmother lives in Florida, now he will get to go there," one father said.

Family's said the skills they've learned today will be used in their everyday lives.

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