In May, CARD provided an autism awareness training to many of the Guest Services staff and Airport Traffic and Police at Tampa International Airport as part of their effort to meet the needs of people with ASD. We were thrilled to learn about their TPA 360 Traveler Education Program.
Airline travel is often a break from the typical routine and can spark anxiety and stress in most families; especially those with individuals affected by autism. The friendly and supportive TPA 360 staff understand this and offer a “pre-travel” experience that invites families and individuals to visit the airport, take a tour of the areas they will be using during their actual flight, and practice going through the whole process from check-in, to security screening, to actually getting onto the aircraft! This is like a “living social story” that provides a real experience and sets the expectations of all the travelers in a family.
If you travel or plan to take a flight out of Tampa, we encourage you to contact Tampa International Airport Guest Services (813) 870-8759 Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to book a TPA 360 tour. For more information and a view of their webpage.
For more information on tips and resources for air travel and autism CARD-USF has created the Airports, Airplanes & Autism booklet. Access it here.