Organizations team up for ‘Autism Takes Flight’

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Local organizations are teaming up to make flying easier for people with autism.

‘Autism Takes Flight’ gives children and their families the opportunity to practice checking bags, getting boarding passes, going through security, and even view a plane.

For the third year, families with children who have autism and other special needs can practice traveling through an airport. Amber Brantley with Coastal Autism Solutions says “children with autism may have trouble with things like waiting, large crowds, unfamiliar environments, loud noises… the airport travel experience could be very overwhelming for families.”

Professor Melanie Bachmeyer with the UNCW Department of Psychology will be on hand at the event with graduate students from the Department of Psychology, who are getting certification in Applied Behavior Analysis. The students will be helping children and their families through the process. Bachmeyer says it’s a great opportunity to provide training for the airport staff as well.

Brantley said the idea came after one of her clients had anxiety about traveling across the country for medical treatment. After speaking with other professionals, they realized this was a common problem for families with autism.

Amanda Rickards with Cape Fear Applied Behavior Analysis tells us between 100 and 150 people attend each year.

The event is  co-sponsored by  Cape Fear Applied Behavior Analysis, Coastal Autism Solutions, UNCW Psychology Department, and Wilmington International Airport.

‘Autism Takes Flight’ is at the Wilmington International Airport on Saturday, April 16 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information and to register for the event click here or email Cape Fear ABA at

Categories: Local, New Hanover

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