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Some days, sitting down to watch the news is depressing, because everything is about deaths, massacres or wars, but today has been different because among some misfortunes a piece of news has emerged that shows you that there are still good people in this world. This is the story of the poignant note from a stranger to a mother with a child with autism that will make you smile.
And this is the story of generosity that I want to tell you today. Landon, a 7-year-old boy with autism, had to travel alone for the first time from Las Vegas to Oregon to visit his father. His mother, Alexa Bjornson, was concerned that his tendency to repeatedly ask 'Are we there yet?' it was a burden to the person sitting next to Landon on the Southwest Airlines flight.
What did this woman do then? He decided to send a note to Landon explaining that the boy had autism, along with $ 10 for his son to give to his seatmate. 'I thought: How do I make sure that whoever is sitting next to you doesn't see you as a burden? ', explains this creative and resourceful mother.
The little boy ended up sitting next to a man named Ben Pedraza, who sent Landon's mother a reassuring message about his flight with her 7-year-old son. In the caption, which Bjornson shared in a now-viral Facebook post, Pedraza included a photo of him and Landon, as well as an inspirational message. 'My name is Ben. I have been Landon's seat neighbor for his flight and I have to say that he has been a great traveling companion. We have had a great time and have played a few games of rock, paper or scissors. He is a great boy and you are a lucky mother. I appreciate the money, but it wasn't necessary, so I donated it to Autism-Society.org in honor of Landon '.
The news about flights and children is almost always negative, whether a stranger yells at a little one, a flight attendant forces a mother to breastfeed in the bathroom, or a family is prevented from taking a flight due to their crying baby. Not only did this stranger talk and play with a 7-year-old boy with autism, he also refused to keep the money, instead 'invested' in a cause that is actively working to help people like Landon. Please, more people like that in the world!
The changes can be a problem for children with ASD because they tend to have an established routine and any alteration generates a greater level of stress. For this reason, when planning a vacation, it is best to prepare the trip in advance and precisely to disturb the little one as little as possible.
- Arrival at the airport
Don't rush until the last minute and arrive early to avoid any setbacks and stressful situations. If the way from your house to the airport is long, take the opportunity to tell the child about the process until getting on the plane.
- The check-in
If you want to avoid unnecessary waiting and, especially if you are not going to check luggage, I recommend that you use the online check-in option to avoid queuing and, incidentally, choose the seat that you like the most. Near the bathroom? At the end of the plane? Corridor? Window?
- Security control
Again, go ahead, and check how the child is dressed so that he does not whistle. For example, if you are wearing a belt, remove it before passing through. It would also be good for an adult to cross the arch first so that when it is his turn, he sees that there is someone on the other side. And, if you consider it appropriate, notify the people who are in that control so that they know that you are traveling with a child with autism spectrum disorder.
- Boarding area
Since you already have your assigned seat, do not be in a hurry to be located in the first seats of the boarding area. Find a quieter area away from all the hustle and bustle. And take the opportunity to tell him, if you know, how to access the plane: by walkway or by van and stairs.
Once inside the plane, to feel more calm, you can talk to the flight attendants, in case you need any kind of help and, of course, tell the little one everything you will do in the next few days together. You will love it!
- Arrival home
If you have to collect suitcases, so that the wait is not so 'boring', invent a game, for example, how many red suitcases are there on the belt? And of course, if there is a family member waiting for you, let them know!
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