Twenty-one Okanagan families with children with autism were invited to the Kelowna International Airport over the weekend.
They’re going through a trial run of all of the steps that have to happen to travel by air so they can become more familiar with the process.
Children with autism tend to like familiar environments and are often sensitive to sensory stimulation and that can make travelling difficult.
“I think after today I’ll find out if he’s ready to fly,” said Rosie, the mother of a child with autism.
The families check in, go through security, and wait in the departure lounge before actually boarding a plane.
Once on board, they go through the safety demonstration, wait for the flight attendants to hand out snacks, and even get a peek at the cockpit.
The day is a joint effort between the Canucks Autism Network and the Kelowna International Airport, and it’s a first for YLW.
Many parents said the success their children had going through the air travel trial run inspired them to book a real trip.
“A short one in the near future,” Raymond Paul, the father of a child with autism said. “Just to try it out.”