Last week John was out of town on a work trip. Monday, as he walked out the door with his suitcase, we reminded Jackson that Daddy was going to ride an airplane and be gone for a few days. Jackson didn’t like that his Daddy was riding an airplane and he wasn’t.
Jackson ride airplane, too, he said.
We’ve yet to fly with Jackson.
Busy airports, long security lines, crowded planes (complete sensory overload if you think about it) has kept us from traveling via air. We’ve opted for road trips (even long ones) because Jackson is such a great car traveler and we can better control the situation.
So when I heard about the Wings for Autism program, I knew we had to participate.
It’s open to children with Autism and other neurological disorders and developmental delays.
The Wings for Autism event couldn’t have come at a better time.
As John left for the airport last Monday, we reminded Jackson that he was going to get to go to the airport and sit on an airplane when Daddy returned from his trip.
We had the most amazing time at the Wings for Autism event Saturday.
We checked in and got our boarding passes and they gave Jackson his own pilot’s hat (which he didn’t take off the entire time we were there!). After getting our boarding passes we went through security and found our gate. The hardest part for Jackson (which didn’t surprise me) was all the waiting. We passed the time by walking through the terminal and looking out the windows at the planes and fuel trucks.
Boarding the plane was a piece of cake because I had one very excited kid.
When we got on the plane Jackson got to meet the pilots and sit in the cockpit. Talk about a little boy’s dream come true!
We took our seats, buckled up and taxied along the runway for a while. Jackson even got to enjoy an inflight snack!
The hardest part of the experience was when it was time to get off the plane. Jackson wasn’t ready for the plane ride to be over and he was a little confused as to why we didn’t fly in the air. I reminded him it was a practice run! The transition off the plane was difficult, but nothing we couldn’t handle. We promised Jackson we would take a real plane ride soon. He said he’d like to fly to the beach!
I am so thankful for programs like Wings for Autism.
Flying with kids is hard; flying with children who have special needs adds even more challenges.
Participating in this event gave us hope that a trip via plane is definitely in our future.
Destination Destin, Florida or Disney World – to be determined.
***A BIG thank you to Delta Airlines, Will Rogers Airport, TSA and the many other sponsors who made this event possible***