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If you are travelling this summer on holidays and have a family member on the autism spectrum or with special needs , you will probably be aware you need more preparation that most so your family member has a less stressful experience of travelling .
Some preparation can may the experience less stressful .

Some basic tips below ;
*Check with your airline and or travel company what accommodations they can make . Most will have a medical needs section. It is a good idea to contact their customer care team at the time of booking to make them aware of any concerns/ needs you have.
*If you are travelling with a child with special needs , having a small backpack for your child that they carry with items needed to keep them occupied .Letting them carry their own backpack can help if you have a runner, the weight can have a calming effect.
*If your family member with special needs will tolerate it, for him or her to wear an id bracelet with the ICE symbol on it with contact details .
*Have ear defenders at the ready if you have a noise sensitive relative or headphones so they can play music or watch a dvd/ programme if they can an iPad/ Phone and sunglasses – alot of public buildings use florescent lights .
*If you are using a buggy/ stroller you usually can bring this with to the departure gate- it is worth buying or borrowing a buggy bag reduces the risk of your buggy getting accidentally damaged. Also when you check in asking for your buggy to be available as your disembark the aircraft.
*When you check in at airport remind or inform staff you are travellling with a person with extra needs .Shannon Airport and Dublin Airport provide some accomdations for passengers with autism/ special needs.
Shannon Airport this year has rolled out a programme to make the journey through the airport a less stressful one for passengers with autism and/or special needs. They have lanyards and caps available from the airport so they can identify passengers with special needs who may require additional assistance .they also have videos to help you prepare your for your journey . For more information on Shannon Airport see https://www.shannonairport.ie/…/P…/AutismandSpecialNeeds.aspx

Dublin Airport also have a simliar assistance programme for passengers with autism see https://www.dublinairport.com/…/special-assistan…/autism-asd

Belfast City Airport see https://www.belfastcityairport.com/…/travelling-with-children

Belfast International Airport see https://www.belfastairport.com/special-assi…/autism-awareness

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