6-Year-Old With Autism Takes First Flight Across the Country

A mommy warrior shares how she overcame the anxiety of taking her son, who was diagnosed with autism, on a plane for the first time.

“We are on our way to the Autism Education Summit in Dallas and I suddenly realized something. You shouldn’t underestimate your kiddos! I have been holding my son back because I think I was more afraid of what could happen and what others would think instead of just doing.

Sometimes we let the autism diagnosis get in our way and we think that our kids can’t handle something. I am learning to just try and if it doesn’t work, oh well.

My son is not one for adventure, he doesn’t like slides and won’t go on rides at an amusement park. So I thought of course he wouldn’t fly. My mom encouraged me to bring him on this trip, despite autism.

I had a lot of anxiety the last few weeks, thinking he will have a meltdown and not get on the plane. Or if he doesn’t like it and wants to go home, he will be stuck in Dallas.

I also had fears about his diet. How do I take a kid who has never eaten food that I didn’t make for him on a trip across the country? Would I cook in a hotel? Oh boy… But we did it… I got lots of great tips from other autism moms on how to bring food with us. Tips about what to pack and what to ship to the hotel ahead of time.

So here we are, on the plane and he has had the best time and attitude. Even though I will be working all week, I know he and my mom will have a great time.

So remember, we got this and don’t underestimate yourself or your kids.”

- Shannon

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