Saturday, 9 June 2012

Holiday, Celebrate well not universally no Madonna

Holiday time is nearly upon us and for the first time in 5 years we're attempting more than a weekend away.
What we're not doing is attempting to travel via an airport.
Stay-cationing might be a zeitgeist word currently but for us with Emily's autism it's a necessity.
She loves to fly, I'm terrified but determined as I strap myself in and shake in terror. That's not the problem the problem is that airports as with many things are not geared up for people with autism who can't comply.
I don't blame them but Emily triggering the metal detector then refusing a pat down due to her learning disability was not an ideal blend of agenda's. As the security guard bore down on us just trying to do her job Emily nimbly swerved and leant and ducked and dived her patting procedure.
"Sorry" I said to the grimly determined woman "but she has autism and she doesn't know you".
"Right well she either let's me do this or you're not getting on the plane"
Oh.
There followed a screaming spectacle which caused lots of tuts and comments from everyone else but eventually we were allowed to pass through.
The holiday itself was a joy but it was in the days when you could take liquids in the cabin. I'm not sure what the security thought of me taking 18 tubs of yogurt to Majorca but when it's the only way of medicating for epilepsy and Emily refuses anything she doesn't know it's sort of completely vital.
Delays are another huge hazard. Emily doesn't understand people standing and waiting in queues and the Spanish guy didn't feel that Emily was disabled or as he put it "No wheelchair? No" So once again Emily's meltdown caused the tuts and stares and comments. The stress also caused her to have a seizure. Again clearly something we were doing just to be annoying. Once we got through we waited on the Tarmac for two hours waiting quite rightly for the others caught in the bottleneck, but again this made little impression on the people on the plane who had had just about enough of all the noise.
So we're off to Cornwall. where all the things Emily and Liz need will be readily available but to be honest it's a worry.
You see it will be new and Emily will be challenged so will Liz but with hope in my heart I'm packing. Clothes? yes Toys? yes Garden hose with outside tap? yes.
I know I know but there's autism for you. At least the excess baggage bill of £173 won't be an issue this time .

2 comments:

  1. Does the airline industry not do even basic disability sensitivity training with its staff? Hearing these sorts of stories just boggles my mind...there's got to be a better way to get Emily through these parts of airline trouble that you can identify in advance as things that are going to be difficult for her to deal with...

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  2. My thoughts are with you,I know your hands are fuller than mine, but I do understand. Wishing you all a wonderful holiday that is a stress less as it can be for all of you. Have a great time ;-) xxx

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