Have a Great Flight

She tries to calm him but with no success. People are looking at them, some with criticism and questioning the mother, maybe others with concern. After a long day between airports and airplanes, he just can’t take it anymore and throws himself to the floor and continue screaming. “Is he ok? Is he having an epileptic attack?” the airport security officer asks. “Don’t worry. My son has Autism and is just having a tantrum. It has been a long day for him, he is just tired.”

We were on our way to Austin Texas, for a special therapy for my son. The flight schedule was from San Juan, to Dallas, and then to Austin. This situation happened when we arrive at Austin, while I was dealing with the car rental. When I got back, he had taken her outside the building, and what I encounter was an exhausted mother full of anxiety, with his son on the sidewalk covered with glitter from head to toe. She knew the glitter would create a mess, but it was her last resource to keep him calm. Thank God that the rental that I got was a familiar one for my son, who usually has a hard time getting inside someone else’s car. A couple of weeks before, our car was being repaired and my brother-in-law lend me his. It was a white VW Jetta, and when the rental place in Austin didn’t have any of their economy cars and offered me a Jetta, I ask “do you have a white one”, and thank God they did. Otherwise we would have had another scene just trying to get him inside the car to get to the hotel.

Perhaps I should take you to the beginning, when we almost lost our flight because of two reasons: the father was not around, and the son didn’t wanted to board the plane. I don’t know how she did it, but my wife got us an escort through the entire process of boarding. We didn’t have to wait in line, we had help passing our stuff and my son’s medical supplies, and he even left his shoes on at the inspection area. So far it was all going ok until we find out that his dose of meds that I had prepared for him was all poured in his lunch bag. It was his daily dose of medicine for his metabolic disorder, and the remaining one was inside our luggage already stored inside the airplane. I thought that it was ok if we waited until our arrival at Austin, but my wife thought otherwise. She made the airline employees find our bags, and me go to the baggage claim area to take the medicine and bring it to our terminal. The little detail was that once I was in there, I had to go through the whole inspection process once again, and there were a lot of people there. If I hadn’t asked for help, I wouldn’t have made it. The attendant helping me had a 2-way radio were I heard “please bring passenger” and my name. A couple of minutes went by and then “please bring passenger” and my name again. And then suddenly I heard “we need the dad here, now!” and she told me “let’s run!” We finally got there and I found my wife carrying my son and trying to get him inside the plane, and he with one foot at each side of the airplane door fighting not to get in. I immediately took charge of the situation and eventually got him inside and properly seated.

During the flight itself and during our stay at Austin, everything was normal in terms of his behavior. It was the airport with all the people, the noise, the waiting, etc., that was the most difficult part for him, and therefore for us too.


2 Responses to “Have a Great Flight”

  1. 1 Lymaris April 27, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    I can’t imagine the stress you both had, knowing how crazy an airport terminal can be… But I’m glad you made the trip and that everything went ok for you and for him. xoxo.

    • 2 johnhdvw April 30, 2011 at 6:52 am

      I was more concerned about how he would behave during the flight, being the first one like 4 or 5 hours, but he surprise me. At the airport, you already know the story. But I think that we have much to learn in terms of controlling our stress during this kind of situations, and how we control our emotions when he can’t.

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