Travelling with ASD .. The reason I am grey.

My boy loves to travel and this makes me so happy he wants to see the world , his school project one year was to build his dream house ( tbf I always end up doing these things,  he has zero interest in participating , and when I ask what the teacher thought he doesn’t even reply , all that work and no recognition ) his dream house only really had one feature apart form a door and some windows and that was an airport on top.


He is however currently on the ASD pathways and although we both love travelling it can become quite stressful , ok a lot stressful !! especially when there are big groups of us and he has to compromise in what he has to do, he really wants to do the things everyone else wants to , like days out , theme parks etc. but sometimes they are just so over whelming it becomes stressful for us all .


Holidays never even tend to start on the right foot as airports are a nightmare 

·      he hates to wait, 

·      he hates to walk, 

·      he hates not knowing exactly how long everything specifically will take, 

·      there are too many people, 

·      too much noise, 

·      smelly people (yes, he always tells them)

·      people have to get quite close which he seriously has zero appreciation for, 

·      people ask him questions and he is expected to understand 

·      follow instructions he just can’t process.


If I’m honest all of the above is no fun me either, but the difference is I know how to act in a way that is socially acceptable .. and I have the understanding to know ques are crap , but we have to wait , and we have to just wait until someone else says otherwise, no amount of screaming and shouting will change this .He on the other hand does not and he is not shy on vocalizing and becoming majorly stroppy about it , imagine a child in the midst of terrible twos … except they are 8 and others look at them as if they are brats and should know better


I also then have massive fear the whole way around the airport , when security start asking him to move along , take his shoes off, stand over here, put your hands over there , my heart is in my mouth as I know it’s all juts too much for him and I’m waiting for Ground Zero to begin.


Our last trip though was amazing, me and carter just went away on our own, the holiday its self I was not worried d about in the slightest, but the airport concerned me with just me to deal with everything and keep him calm. I contacted Thomas Cook before we flew, and the while process was a DREAM. They pre-allocated our seats so we were sitting together AND he got his window seat phewwww. 

We had priority boarding meaning we didn’t que to get on the plane and was taken on before any other passengers he could take his time settling into his seat without the rush and panic of other passengers over loading his senses , and me sweating with panic trying to get him out of everyone’s way whilst he very loudly declares how much he hates everything, He does not do things in a hurry … and people boarding a plane do not like anything that delays them. He likes to arrange all his gadgets, take his shoes and coat off, get his pillow, and the people behind me do not understand why on earth I’m faffing doing these things, so what usually ensues is me basically man handling him into his seat and him shouting and crying about everything not being how it should be . You can also request different help , such as physical support , extra luggage if needed amongst other things , we didn’t have to pay to be allocated our seats together which I thought was amazing and it meant he knew were he was sitting well in advance so i didn’t have the same question over and over agin in the run up to leaving. when we was leaving the plane at our destination , we was also given assistance i that we waited for the whole plane to leave and some one escorted us to passport control and again avoided the questions , whilst we waited on the flight emptying Carter even got a special treat with a visit to the cockpit , making the flight that extra bit special.


Manchester airport also had an amazing service in which he was given a Lanyard so staff knew that he may need a little more assistance at the airport , we got to use the special assistance Security que which meant it was calmer , he could take his time and I didn’t feel like I was constantly explaining his blank stare and total lack of cooperation . Even when we went to eat, they gave us a table at the back with lots of extra room and was nice and quiet and all the staff where extra patient with him.


I cannot thank Thomas and Manchester airport enough for everything they did, for once that whole airport and flight experience was a perfect, stress free start to our holiday. 


You can request Special Assistance via your airline up to 48 hours before you fly and pick up lanyard at Manchester Airport for Special Assistance whilst your there.