Any tips for clearing security with disabled child?
My DS is 16 now and developmentally delayed. We are taking him to Disney via Southwest. He is in a wheelchair, has an implant device in his chest and is autistic and gets spooked easily. I realize he will need to be hand wanded but as long as he and I can maintain eye contact he will be fine and I am unaware how far away the TSA agents keep me while clearing him. Any tips or experiences would be greatly appreciated. TIA.
I'm not a great expert on this, but others are and I'm sure they will be chiming in shortly.
My experience is only in traveling with my husband who requires a wheelchair in airports because he cannot walk more than a few feet. When going through security we are normally separated - I am required to wait in line and go through the normal screening process while he is taken to the area set aside for handwanding the disabled. Some airports will allow me to jump the line and go ahead of others so I can meet him in the disabled area - and some airports won't.
This is not a problem for us, but I can see where it might be for you and your son if he gets agitated when separated from you. All I can suggest is that when you arrive at security, you explain the situation to the TSA agents - as strongly (but nicely) as possible. They may let you jump the line and go through security quickly so your son does not become unduly distressed - and also because I presume you will be carrying his boarding pass and documents for him.
Anyone have other (make that better!) suggestions for Teddysmom?
Thanks flyingmama. I forgot to add there will be 2 of us. My brother is coming along so perhaps one of us could clear and one of us could stay behind. Kind of one on each side type of thing. I appreciate your quick answer. We still have a month yet too so maybe someone who's done it will come along. Thank you for sharing your experience.
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Teddy I would contact customer service with your airline, they may be able to do some "paving of the way" for you before you even get to the airport, at least giving TSA a heads up if not assisting you through the process.
Obviously the normal advice also applies here, show up to the airport VERY early, expect a wait and plan for it
And have a GREAT trip!
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Thanks so much. Yeah, i'm a freak about getting there early. I always get there at least 2 and 1/2 hours early for PVD and 3 hours early for MCO. I don't mind waiting after clearing security at all. There is so much stuff in both airports that will interest DS. Thanks for your advice I will phone our airline to have his reservation marked.
If there is any possibility that your son could get "spooked" on the plane, make certain that the flight staff know of his disability so that his conduct will not be viewed as threatening, especially if he is of farily large size.