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Ady’s Wings Makes Air Travel Feasible And Comfortable For Autists And Their Families

On May 11th, 2015, ABC News posted an article detailing the incident in which the Beegle family was escorted off a United Airlines aircraft. The reason: the captain was not comfortable having Juliette Beegle, a fifteen-year-old autistic girl, on board.

According to the article, Juliette’s mother, Donna, asked the flight attendants for hot food for Juliette since she does not eat cold food. The flight attendants took an excessive amount of time to fulfill Donna’s request, and Juliette, who struggles with verbal communication, began to make noises and cry to express her hunger. She quieted down, though, as soon as the flight attendants delivered her hot food. The problem was solved. However, the captain still chose to make an emergency landing and call the police to escort the family off the aircraft.

As Ady’s Wings, a subcategory of Ady’s Army, knows, air travel is already difficult for many autistic children and teenagers: airports and planes have unfamiliar sensory stimuli, such as crowded security lines and the sound of aircraft engines. People on the autism spectrum can become overwhelmed with the new sensory input, and the last thing autists and their families need during such stress is an inconsiderate, ignorant flight attendant or pilot who is reluctant to accommodate the needs of his/her autistic passengers.

With the needs of autistic flyers in mind, Ady’s Wings strives to cover the cost of appropriate travel accommodations for autistic children and their families. Such accommodations may regard dietary restrictions like Juliette Beegle’s, hotel stays, and even scheduling and paying for private flights. Along with non-profit partner Angel Flight, Ady’s Wings hopes to give autistic flyers and their families the opportunity and freedom to travel comfortably.

For those who feel inclined to help Ady’s Wings and Angel Flight provide travel services for families in need, the web page for Ady’s Wings offers instructions for making donations to such families.  At the bottom of the page is the airplane-shaped Autism Puzzle; the more puzzle pieces added by donating, the closer a family is to receiving the accommodations it needs.

Contact us for more information about Ady’s Wings, as well as Ady’s Army’s other endeavors such as Ady’s Barracks and Ady’s Paws.

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