Tips to Ease Challenges with
Travel, Gatherings and More
MELBOURNE, FLA. — The Scott Center for Autism Treatment at Florida Institute of Technology is releasing a new series of online videos and materials to help families of individuals with autism and related disabilities navigate the holiday season with more joy and less stress.
“Tips for Happier Holidays,” featuring videos on navigating the airport and airport security, flying, and other holiday challenges, will be available at both www.AutismAdvisor.org and www.TheScottCenter.org starting Friday.
Parents of children with autism and related disabilities are understandably anxious about the approaching holiday season. The schedule disruptions, noise and unusual sensory experiences can be very difficult for their children. The Scott Center’s new series offers advice on traveling and attending family gatherings, as well as handling other situations that can trigger frustration and anxiety for people on the autism spectrum and those who care for them.
The series is part of the Scott Center’s goal of harnessing the power and reach of the Internet to extend its mission of serving families, especially those in rural and underserved communities.
According to Michael E. Kelley, Ph.D., executive director of the Scott Center and professor of psychology at Florida Tech, “The holiday season can be stressful under the best of circumstances. For individuals with autism and related disabilities and their families, it can be especially challenging. Our new holiday video series is based on our daily work with children on the autism spectrum and the needs of their families.”
Melbourne International Airport and Elite Airways participated in the videos, allowing use of the airport and access to an Elite Airways plane. Elite provided a flight attendant to film tips on checking in to a flight, boarding a plane and dealing with issues in the air, like pressure changes and seat kicking.
“Elite Airways was delighted to make one of our jets available to the Scott Center, as these videos are helpful for passenger awareness—especially with the holiday travel season approaching,” said John Pearsall, president of Elite Airways. “We appreciate that flying can be stressful for anyone, especially for those traveling with children on the autism spectrum. We always encourage families with any special requirements to alert the gate agents and crew as early as possible, so that we can work together to help make their flying experience as positive as possible.”
In addition to the holiday videos, visitors to www.AutismAdvisor.org will find other videos and educational material for parents and the autism community.