Whether your child does not like standing in long lines, has difficulties being among other individuals, or is the first time that he/she is traveling, as a parent you want to do anything that is in your power in order to make the situation easier for your child.
Just imagine your child at the airport screaming and crying while waiting impatiently in the lines of the airlines, then asked by security to take off their garments (shoes, jackets, sweaters), and parents not knowing what to do, torn with their child’s reactions of people looking at you as if you are a “bad parent” for not telling them to stop crying, while you on the other side are doing what you know will be best for your child. But at times, parents are left alone and do not know what to do in these difficult situations. The time that you travel should be a time of peace, love, and compassion for all of those around us. It is a time in which we want to enjoy with our loved ones and make it a pleasant experience for everyone. That is why we have put together several helpful tips for making it easier if you have a child with a developmental disability.
First of, I would like to invite you to visit: www.tsa.gov. Here, you will find valuable information for when you are getting ready to plan your trip. I have also written the following letter that may help during this situation. Please feel free to use it and leave me a comment if it is valuable and helpful on your trip.
To Whom It May Concern:
I am writing this letter to inform you that (Name of child) has a developmental disability. He/She has been diagnosed with (Diagnosis; i.e., Autism Spectrum Disorder). One of the characteristics of this disorder is that (he/she) has difficulties waiting in line, standing, and being among other individuals. I ask that you please be considerate of this matter and allow (him/her) to use any lane set aside for passengers with disabilities, accompanied by his/her traveler companion, (Mother and any other family member traveling with the child).
(Name of professional working with your child)
One last thing that you can do is print this notification card: http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/disability_notification_cards.pdf and show it to any agent at the airport. However, do keep in mind that presenting these documents (either the letter above or the notification card) will not exempt your child from any screenings.
Hopefully these tips will be helpful for when you are planning your trip!