2018-04-25 / Features

Wings for Autism Takes Flight Again at LaGuardia Airport

On Saturday, April 28, AHRC New York City will hold the fourth annual Wings for Autism event at LaGuardia Airport in partnership with The Arc, Delta Airlines, the TSA, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Wings for Autism is an airport “rehearsal” specially designed for individuals with autism spectrum disorders, their families and aviation professionals. Originated by the Charles River Center, a local chapter of The Arc in Massachusetts, and the Massachusetts Port Authority, Wings for Autism is designed to alleviate some of the stress that families who have a child with autism experience when traveling by air. The program also allows airport staff to interact with people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities in a structured learning environment.

Families from AHRC NYC’s schools will begin arriving at LaGuardia at 12:00 pm and go through a typical airport experience. They will get their boarding passes, go through a complete security check, walk to the gate, and board a plane. Employees from the Port Authority, TSA and Delta will guide parents and their children through the process. While on the plane, Delta personnel will go through typical pre-takeoff instructions. Following disembarkation, snacks and a small reception will be provided.

“This is one of my favorite days of the year,” said John Goodson, Staff Training Director and Lead Investigator for AHRC NYC’s Educational Services. “We are always grateful for the AHRC New York City staff volunteers, the parents, the students, the friends, and the airline staff who come out to support this great event. The goal is to make the airport more comfortable and we come closer and closer to that every year.”

AHRC New York City is a family-governed organization committed to finding ways for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to build full lives as defined by each person and supported by dedicated families, staff and community partners. Learn more at www.ahrcnyc.org.

The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses.

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