Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Storm Chasing Dream?

The media story about a boy with Down Syndrome who was denied boarding because of being a "security risk" reminded me of a flying dream I have every so often.

Bil loves to watch the Weather Channel.  The Weather Channel is one of his special interests.  But, in the real world, Bil is afraid of the weather - especially thunder.

I doubt many adults (or children) with autism enjoy thunder.  Or severe weather.

And yet....there is a storm chasing tour designed especially for young adults with autism.

This is amazing on a number of levels.  Weather can't be predicted.  People with autism do not like change.  On this tour, they would have to accept sudden changes in plans.

Weather can be scary, and noisy.  These adults with autism must deal with unpredictable, loud noises.

People with autism like the familiar. These adults would have to stay in different motel rooms each night.

What an experience!  What a chance for these adults to expand their boundaries.

Another episode of "how I wish this was available for Bil years ago."  Now, I doubt we could get past his anxiety.  And speaking of anxiety....

I wonder how many of these young adults have to fly to get to where these tours tart.  Bil has never been on a plane.  And what would happen if we did get him prepared, and it was flight time and he became anxious?

Nice to know that certain airlines consider young adults with disabilities as a security risk.  I somehow doubt the story that this young man was being disruptive. Although, it is possible.  Just like people with autism can be disruptive if they are exposed to certain stimuli.

But a cell phone video of the young man shows a young, calm man, playing with a baseball cap.

The young man had flown more than 24 times before this.

We all know how many terrorists are people with autism. (not)

No, I think someone in the first class section they were going to sit in somehow figured out that this young man would sit in this expensive section, and no, that just wouldn't do.  And on the flight he finally ended up on, no one was seated within two rows of the family - like they had a communicable disease.

One of my dreams would be to have Bil get training so he could fly one day, just like this young man with Down Syndrome has done, with his parents' support, many times.  But he would also be at the mercy of the airlines.

I think it's likely that Bil would never be able to participate in a storm chasing tour.  Or (without a whole lot of preparation) get on a plane.  But wouldn't it be awesome if he could?

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