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DS2 terrified of flying, help!

(10 Posts)
5inthebed Mon 12-Sep-11 16:00:35

We are having a holiday in Disneyland Florida in November (mega excited) but DS2 (ASD) is coming over all panic like and is adamant he isn;t flying. We are talking total meltdown.

Anyone have any tips they can share with me? Any books that are about that I can show him?

I am going to takeafew trips to airport ad have contacted plane company to ask if they do anything for ASD (I remember a programme with some children allowed on a plane).

He does well with social stories and visual aids

5inthebed Mon 12-Sep-11 16:01:02

Ach, not Florida, Paris, I wish it was Florida!

silverfrog Mon 12-Sep-11 17:37:33

how old is ds2?

iirc, amberleaf once linked to an airport guide - a sort of walkthrough of what to expect at the airport, with pictures etc.

we used the Usborne airport book with dd1 - will try ot find a link in a mo. it's a huge book, with a little wind up aeroplane, and on each page there are tracks marked for the aeroplane to whizz around. but the book is also very informative about what happens at the airport, at check in, on the plane etc. my 2 girls loved it, and it helped a little (although we did still have some meltdowns <sigh>)

silverfrog Mon 12-Sep-11 17:39:14

this is the book we have.

silverfrog Mon 12-Sep-11 17:43:22

oh, and can/has ds2 said what is bothering him about flying? is it the thought of the noise/bustle of the airport, or the fact he can't understand how the plane will stay up (sorry, don't know what age/level of understanding)?

does he not know where he will sit, or what will happen on the aeroplane? when dd1 was first bothered by the thought of flying, what she wanted to know most (actually it is the same in all situations grin) is whether she woudl have lunch/dinner/breakfast on theplane, what it would be for lunch/dinner/breakfast, and what time that woudl be.

I mostly reassured them both that our routine woudl be as normal as possible, so familiar foods (taken in flasks at one point) rather than airline food, took favourite books/toys (ipod/ipad invaluable for this), and on longer flights take pyjamas/blankets/pillows and get them ready for bed at teh right time etc. it helps dd1 enormously to have her normal routine in the midst of (to her) chaos.

5inthebed Mon 12-Sep-11 20:25:59

Ah thanks Silverfrog. DS2 is just 6.

From what we can gather (because he flips when we mention it) it is the going fast he doesn't like. He hates anything fast anyway, so it right in line with him, but it's hard to explain to him that a plane needs to go fast to take off.

Will get the book for him.

We have priority to get on the plane first luckily, so we will be seated before others dive on the plane to get their seats (EasyJet so no allocated seating)

His 1:1 at chool is going to work with him about planes so he can get used to it. I know the noise is a worry as well as he is noise sensitive.

WetAugust Mon 12-Sep-11 20:40:28

The kindest thing you could do is to leave him at home with a relative.

Disneyland would be a nightmare for my ASD son: crowded, noisy, unfamiliar place, unfamiliar people, unfamiliar hotel room, unfamiliar form of transport, too much sensory stimulation.......

Why add to his anxiety for something he may get no enjoyment from whatsoever?

I know we want to involve all our children in everything the family does but sometimes it's best to recognise that their difficulties make it impossible.

silverfrog Mon 12-Sep-11 20:52:23

on the other hand, my dd1 loved disneyworld, Florida. asks at least once a week when we are going back.

yes, it was noisy, and busy, and there were things that stressed her. but she had a ball.

same with aeroplanes - she used to get quite stressed by it all, but is now an ace traveller. and she loves holidays, even though it is difficult for her with all the changes - new place, new food, different time zone and timings on stuff. she still enjoys it, and gets mor eout of it than it costs her, iyswim.

5inthebed Mon 12-Sep-11 21:04:23

WetAugust, I totally take on board what you are saying, but DS2 loves going to theme parks, he is nigh on obsessed with them and really wants to go to DLP. If for one minute I thought he wouldn't enjoy it, I would not take him.

If I don't think he will cope with the flight, then I will probably have to leave him here. Would be such a hame though as he would enjoy DLP. WOuld break my heart to leave him sad

That is why I am wanting to get him prepared for the flight.

We were going to leave it until the actual day to tell them where they are going, but think that is a really bad idea now.

WetAugust Mon 12-Sep-11 23:37:40

I hope he enjoys it smile

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