our family's adventures with autism and eosinophilic esophagitis
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Our Trip to France Part 2!
After publishing Our Trip To France part 1 I realized that I left out several steps of prep that we did with the kids. These steps were mainly the practice flights from Phoenix to Flagstaff to give the kids a test run before trying to plop them onto an international long-haul flight. We did Lu's flight at the end of a week long session at SARRC, and Myffy's flight the day after her endoscopy to check for EE in Feb.
Madison went with us for Lu's flight and other than getting nervous going through the security line when we had to take Dahanna's back pack and leashes off, as well as all of our shoes, Lu did really well.
When she got into the airplane she was really happy and kept saying, 'Airplane go up in the air!' As a pilot and the daughter of a pilot, I couldn't help feeling a little bit proud of how much she seemed to love to fly. Even though it was only a 45 minute flight, I couldn't help feeling encouraged and excited. For any other family considering taking their special needs kids on a long haul international flight, I would highly recommend doing a short practice flight first. It does add expense to the whole trip, but it really helped us to anticipate where problems were mostly likely to arise.
For Myffy's practice flight I took her by myself and she had a much harder time with the lines and delays, so I wasn't able to get any pictures. My hands were more than full. Still I think that it was really good that we went through it once first both so she could learn to anticipate what would happen next on the long flight, and so I could be prepared for her reaction. It was after this that I decided to buy the big box of individually wrapped ear plugs to pass out to other passengers.
I don't want to give the impression that Myffy struggled throughout the entire travel time. There where whole hours of her walking along and sitting and playing and being perfectly sweet and totally awesome. It was also encouraging to think back to when Lu was Myffy's age, how much trouble she had with fast, unexpected transitions and changes, and to see how far she has come. She just rolled with weird thing after weird thing on this trip and took so much in her stride. It helped us to remember that even in autism there are stages that kids go through and grow out of and that in another year or two international travel might very well be a breeze for Myffy too.
I sure hope so, because we have already begun to discuss plans for our next overseas visit with the Anderson Clan! Stay tuned for part 3 of our trip to France when I finally talk about being in France!