‘Advocates for Autism’ hosts event to help families prepare for travel

Published: Apr. 30, 2023 at 6:19 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Traveling can be intimidating for families with autism, which is why “Advocates for Autism” wanted to help families alleviate some of this stress on the last day of Autism Acceptance Month.

Families with a member who has autism were invited to the Greater Binghamton Airport Sunday morning to get practice with TSA screenings.

The airport was closed to the public during the event, something Advocates for Autism President Sally Colletti said created a perfect environment for practice.

“If we practice here at Binghamton airport it’s great,” said Colletti. “The airport is closed except for us right now so they get to practice what it is like get a ticket, go through TSA and the screening.”

Families were given a special ID tag at the event that helps airport staff know a family is traveling with someone with a disability. Colletti said the tags are made available through a program called “TSA Cares.”

If you run into a family with autism while traveling, Colletti said the most important thing to do is to be patient.

“Just kind of be aware the kids might be a little crying in the beginning,” said Colletti. “They might need a little bit of extra time and patience from fellow passengers.”

The organization handed out goodie bags of snacks and items you need for travel to people in attendance. They also gave out tips for flying with someone with autism, which you can find on their Facebook page.