Thanks to a partnership with JetBlue Airways, Broward County Board of County Commissioners, Broward County Aviation Department, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, more than 160 Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) students with autism spectrum disorder have participated in the annual Autism in Flight event.
This year, students with autism will have the opportunity to simulate the experience of commercial airline travel during the sixth annual Autism in Flight. Students and their families get a chance to walk through a full airport experience, including check-in and ticketing, security process and TSA, boarding, taxiway ride on the tarmac, and a water salute on their return to the gate.
WHO: Approximately 60 fourth and fifth grade students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) from eight BCPS elementary schools are participating: Coconut Palm Elementary School, Coral Park Elementary School, Dania Elementary School, Floranada Elementary School, Norcrest Elementary School, Park Springs Elementary School, Silver Lakes Elementary School and Tradewinds Elementary School.
WHAT: The sixth annual Autism in Flight is the culminating event of several weeks of classroom lessons focusing on airport travel. On the day of the event, students and their family members pack their bags and meet at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport for an opportunity to practice the travel experience in a realistic, relaxed setting, allowing families and children to be better prepared for future travel.
WHEN: Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 10 a.m. Opening Ceremony
WHERE: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Terminal 3, Baggage Claim Area, Carousel 8
WHY: Air travel can be challenging for individuals affected by autism due to symptoms associated with the disorder, including hypersensitivity to large crowds, loud noises and communication difficulties. As a result, many families do not fly due to the fear of the response it could elicit from their children with autism, and subsequently fellow travelers and airline crewmembers. Trained JetBlue crewmembers and BCPS behavioral consultants and staff provide assistance throughout the Autism in Flight event.
ABOUT BROWARD COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS - “Committed to educating all students to reach their highest potential.”: Broward County Public Schools (BCPS) is the sixth largest school district in the nation and the second largest in the state of Florida. BCPS is Florida’s first fully accredited school system since 1962. BCPS has more than 271,500 students and approximately 175,000 adult students in 234 schools, centers and technical colleges, and 93 charter schools. BCPS serves a diverse student population, with students representing 204 different countries and 191 different languages. To learn more, visit browardschools.com. Follow BCPS on Twitter @browardschools and Facebook at facebook.com/browardschools, and download the free BCPS mobile app.