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Flight staff go above and beyond for anxious child

IN THE AIR: Chase Standley, pictured with staff from Qantaslink, who took him on a tour of a plane ahead of his first flight to Brisbane.
IN THE AIR: Chase Standley, pictured with staff from Qantaslink, who took him on a tour of a plane ahead of his first flight to Brisbane. Contributed

Traveling by plane can be a stressful experience for an anxious child and their parent.

Stories abound of autistic children and their parents being removed from flights due to their child's behaviour.

Many ASD parents would rather drive their child halfway across the country than try to deal with the challenges that flying create and I was no different.

The unfamiliar sounds, the crowds, the smells and the changes in the routine all equal one thing: autism meltdown high probability!

Chase is a four-year-old autistic boy who is due to fly down to Brisbane Monday for a week long stay at Lady Cilento Children's Hospital. Chase will be participating in Electroencephalography.

An (EEG) is an electrophysiological monitoring method to record electrical activity of the brain.

Chase will need to undergo this testing for the entire week.

Due to the type of testing and time restraint driving wasn't an option.

We were flying.

Chase hadn't been on a plane before so preparation and practice would be the secret to a successful flight, so I enlisted the help of a friend Katy Fowle, who works privately doing early intervention and we put together a practise run.

Wednesday afternoon we met with Adam from Winkel Aviation at Gladstone airport where we were greeted by the Qantas ground staff.

Adam gave Chase a tour of the grounds and lead us out to an aircraft.

The captain and crew walked Chase through the boarding process and showed him around the plane pointing our familiar objects that he can look for on Mondays flight.

Thanks to Qantas and the team our flight won't be as challenging, we really appreciate them going the extra mile and accommodating us and Chase's needs and look forward to flying with them Monday

Topics:  anxiety asd autism qantas



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