Friday, April 22, 2011

Be your special needs child's advocate during air travel | Best Family Travel Advice

In today’s world of poor customer service and inconsistent policies, self-sufficient travel is the best. It may sound harsh, but nobody else outside your friends and family can be safely relied on to help you and your granddaughters. You can ask the airline to place a note in the reservation, but honestly, the advocacy is up to you.

Firstly, bring a letter from the children’s physician stating their medical needs and then request private screening at TSA. Communicate with the TSA agents at each step and ask for a supervisor if needed. Remain calm: they are not going to respect your situation as much as you’d like them to simply because most people don’t really understand. If you can ask a friend or relative to accompany you through airport security to the gate, that may free you up to care for the girls while the friend helps with belongings.

iStock 000000340090XSmall 300x238 Be your special needs childs advocate during air travelYou may want to see if the girls would wear a mask. Hand washing with soap and water is best, but when on airplanes, use instant hand sanitizer and antibacterial wipes, wipe down tray tables and arm rests, and communicate your situation with flight attendants. There is a product that covers the seat called Plane Sheets. If using the airplane lavatory, do not wash hands in there, as there are so many germs on faucet, soap dispenser and door handle; instead use hand sanitizer at your seat.

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