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FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) — Air travel can be challenging for any family but for those with children with Autism, it is often a difficult task due to 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 crew members.

That’s where the Autism in Flight program comes in.

It allows students with Autism the opportunity to simulate the experience of commercial airline travel.

autism in flight program Local Airport Makes Travel Easier For Children With Autism

Student takes part in the sixth annual Autism in Flight program at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. (CBS4)

Students and their families got a chance to walk through a full airport experience at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Wednesday, 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.

The program prepares children for future travel in a relaxed setting.

This is the sixth annual Autism In Flight program. The practice flight was headed to Sydney, Australia.

Students from eight Broward County elementary schools participated. An estimated 5,000 children with autism spectrum disorder are enrolled in Broward County Public Schools.

Autism in Flight is part of JetBlue’s ongoing Blue Horizons for Autism platform.

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