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Advice on travelling abroad with SN child

(22 Posts)
monica2 Mon 23-May-05 23:26:37

We are off on holiday on Wednesday and I have been trying to contact airport to see if they have a quiet area for us to take dd if necessary, airports are very difficult for her to deal with (loud noises/crowds/waiting/anxiety over going to new place etc.) I have left several messages (one with a real person) but no one has got back to me. I am becoming more and more anxious (over the whole holiday TBH). I have done a journal for her to fill in to take her mind off etc, shown pictures so she knows what places will look like, but just wondered if anyone had any experience of what provisions there are at airports for ASD/SN children.

Chandra Mon 23-May-05 23:28:59

I don't know if there are provisions for SN, but some airports have special children areas that are very often empty and quiet. Chapels are also quiet, I don't know if that would help.

Blossomhill Mon 23-May-05 23:33:52

Hello Monica
I don't have any advice I am afraid but would love to know myself as want to take dd away this summer.
Hope you are okay!

Fio2 Mon 23-May-05 23:38:26

agree with blossomhill as we are also doing the same this year, am pondering over whether a ferry over to france would be easier ior a flight...but cannot even begin to imgaine a 4 hour flght - nightmare!

Blossomhill Mon 23-May-05 23:46:08

Fio - I reckon the flight would be easier. We took a ferry to IOW and it was awful!

monica2 Mon 23-May-05 23:53:08

Oooh hadn't thought of the Chapel that's defo worth looking for. Last time I flew on my own from Gatwick to Manchester with DD and ds then 4, dd freaked out and I asked someone if we could go somewhere and that said a flat NO, she then hyper ventilated on the plane, so not a happy experience! I'm okay BH, hope you are (loved the thread with other name BTW!)

Blossomhill Mon 23-May-05 23:55:17

I am awful aren't I????

Chandra Mon 23-May-05 23:55:56

Which airports are you using?

Blossomhill Mon 23-May-05 23:56:03

Sorry monica didn't read all of that properly. poor dd, must have been so scary for her

monica2 Mon 23-May-05 23:58:05

Gatwick then Monastir in Tunisia,

BH think you should change your name again Mrs Chairwoman

Blossomhill Mon 23-May-05 23:58:56

Do you think so Monica?

lou33 Tue 24-May-05 00:05:56

i dont know about children with asd, but when we took ours to thailand over xmas, they whisked us through all the queues and scanners, got us on the plane before anyone else, they were fantastic (ds in a w/c). Maybe you should call the airline beforehand and explain to them so they can try and sort something out to help you?

Chandra Tue 24-May-05 00:06:40

Not familiar with the Tunisian one... And only remember a very busy Gatwick (passed by prechild)

JakB Tue 24-May-05 08:12:54

Which airline love? I would speak to S who is queen of sorting these things out and getting children with SN the red carpet treatment.
If you don't have any joy, I would get there an hour earlier than you need to and go to the bit for passengers who need assistance and kick up a massive fuss. Your DD shouldn't have to queue and should get the seat with extra leg room etc etc...
Good luck. We will misss you

Davros Tue 24-May-05 08:53:09

On our one holiday in the last 8 years we contacted Disability services at the airport and were escorted through without queuing and got help with the luggage. It did help but we still had to wait when we got to the end part (and didn't get to shop ) and getting from the car to the free bus to the terminal was a trial. We also had our au-pair with us who lived with us for 6 months after DD was born and that is the only reason we could manage at all. It all depends on the child, how much help you need. I know lots of people who go away all the time but they do seem to have older, helpful children too.

Merlot Tue 24-May-05 09:04:42

Enjoy your holiday Monica2 - hope the travelling goes well.

We are off to Greece on Sunday for a fortnight and whilst I am really looking forward to it, I am also dreading it iykwim!

Ds2 is only 20 months, so to a certain extent, people will be expecting him to `play up', but it will be a four hour flight so fingers crossed for me

We have had to purchase an extra seat for him - last minute - because the airline are refusing to carry him on my lap because of his size (he is the size of a 31/2 year old!) Did think that because his size is due to a medical condition (??) they might have given us a freebee seat, but no we have had to pay. Also, I am very worried that when we get off the plane at Gatwick (inbound) we will have to walk half a mile to the main terminal carrying him I am going to try and insist that my buggy is available at the door, but I dont know how successful that will be.

We have been offered a Maclaren Major, which I have refused til now, because I can still squash him in his buggy which reclines (essential with a 1 1/2 year old! Now I'm beginning to think if we had the major we might have got more help!

Grateful for any hints and tips - sorry, didnt mean to hijack, Monica. Have a lovely trip

Davros Tue 24-May-05 11:34:18

I think its normal practice for buggies to be the last thing to go on board and the first thing to come off, even for NT kids. So you shouldn't have a problem using the buggy in the terminal, right up to the plane and as soon as you get off. Why not get the Major? If its been offered presumably its free? Bloody disgrace that you have to pay for the seat, grrrr, anyone you can complain to or get someone to take it up? Look at the BBC disabled website, its called Ouch! They have lots of activists there who would be outraged!

Jayzmummy Tue 24-May-05 11:50:44

Monica 2....we were flying on the same flight as you!!! Notice I saw were....hubby changed our holiday to majorca at the last minute!!

Anyway...I have flown the Gatwick to Monastir flight many times.....if you phone the flight company and inform them that you have a child with SN they will express you through to the plane....they have always been very good with us....are you flying MYT??? They sent us a video tape for J to watch explaining what happens when you are going on the plane etc....this really helped to settle his pre flight worries.

Once in Monastir the staff there are a lot more helpful that here in the UK.....Tunisian people are so loving and adore children....hope you have a fantastic holiday....I Love Tunisia and would quite hapily pack up everything I own and go live there!!!

Merlot Tue 24-May-05 12:40:39

Hi Davros

Have only refused the Major because ds2's own pushchair is adequate (just! )and dont want to accept the Major until I have to give up on the pushchair (something else to house)

I am right in thinking that Major's dont recline am I? If a Major reclined it would be perfect for ds2. Hmmm - me thinks I should start a new thread

monica2 Tue 24-May-05 19:11:17

Thanks for all your advice still not heard back from Brittannia so we are going early dh has got his "I'm not taking any crap" head on!

Jayzmummy such a shame you changed hols, J and dd could have shared their fascinations with pebbles!

DD is now refusing to go at all unless she can take her sleeping bag as hand luggage, she thinks she can get into it at the airport and zip it up over her head!! She has a new verbal stim (short high pitched repetitive whistles) the noise is ringing in my ears still.

If anyone is still on our flight I will be the one sitting next to the rocking, whistling sleeping bag

monica2 Tue 24-May-05 19:14:08

Merlot hope you sort the buggy situation out and have a fab holiday.

anniebear Tue 24-May-05 19:34:28

My friend has jusy gone on holiday with her SN child and they were going to let her get onto the plane first to avoid all the hustle and bustle

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