TSA screening autistic minor child?

Old Nov 1, 18, 11:01 pm
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TSA screening autistic minor child?

When our child was baby or under three, we would just carry him thru the scanner , basically just carry him and nothing is done. He now is almost 5 and he is autistic child. He may not mind and may not scream and cry unless he gets separated from us or someone comes close to him and touches him. We have trip coming up soon and we wonder if TSA will allow us to carry him thru the screener like before or they will tell us someone has to pat my child down and screen him? If it is the later, then we may have to talk to the TSA and ask for supervisor. Should we notify the TSA in advance for this or its not a big deal and since he is 4 years old, they won't screen him privately.? We do have TSA precheck.

Thanks
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Old Nov 2, 18, 8:45 am
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Why on earth would you want TSA to take your son, possibly unaccompanied by you, to a closed room to pat him down with the usual <pat-down>? If they pat him down, make them do it in public. Make people see what TSA is doing.

Last edited by TWA884; Nov 2, 18 at 9:38 am Reason: Charged term better left for the policy debate forum
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Old Nov 2, 18, 8:55 am
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He can't walk through the scanner with you close behind? Is it that you have to hold him? When my son was younger (3-4) we would have one parent go through the scanner and then he would follow. Only takes a very small amount of time and you're never more than a short distance apart. But my son isn't autistic so don't have any experience there.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 9:37 am
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TSA will not interfere with you carrying your son or with the approach outlined above, e.g. one parent goes first and beckons the child through.

I agree with others. There is no reason to create a situation in which this is anything other than a walk through the mag just like any other open door.

You know what your son needs, so you make the choice.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 9:46 am
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The official TSA policy is:
Autism, Autism Spectrum & Intellectual Disabilities

Inform the TSA Officer

Passengers with intellectual disabilities or developmental disabilities, such as Down syndrome or autism, can be screened without being separated from their traveling companions if traveling with one. You or your traveling companion may consult the TSA officer about the best way to relieve any concerns during the screening process. You may also provide the officer with the TSA notification card or other medical documentation to describe your condition.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 10:59 am
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Originally Posted by jeff191 View Post
He can't walk through the scanner with you close behind? Is it that you have to hold him? When my son was younger (3-4) we would have one parent go through the scanner and then he would follow. Only takes a very small amount of time and you're never more than a short distance apart. But my son isn't autistic so don't have any experience there.
He can walk through the scanner after us but what if they tell him to stay right there, raise his hand? He won't stay there and he won't raise his hands! As you know due to his autism and almost non verbal.
Normally, in the door like scanner, you stay in for few secs and you raise your hand , arms right? I don't travel often but I can remember standing in the scanning machine and raising your arms and hand up for few secs.

I think TSA will ask us to walk through first and then go back and carry him thru the scanner with you. They used to allow us to walk in through the scanner with our child. Maybe this time he is almost 5 and it will be like normal, I don't know. I will print the blue card and write his name in it and show them IF they want him to stand in the scanner, raise his hand or wants to touch him.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 11:50 am
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You said that you have TSA precheck. This means you should not need to go thru the scanner with the doors that close where you have to raise your arms.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 4:12 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
You said that you have TSA precheck. This means you should not need to go thru the scanner with the doors that close where you have to raise your arms.
I can't remember exactly but I think I went through a scanner last year and I had Precheck. Didn't need to remove shoes or belts and entered thru the fast TSA precheck line. What happens at the screening when you have TSA pre-check? Thanks
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Old Nov 2, 18, 5:32 pm
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You probably went through a metal detector. Most of us consider a scanner to be a millimeter wave scanner where you stop and stand with your arms up. Precheck should be metal detector only for most passengers.
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Old Nov 2, 18, 11:38 pm
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Originally Posted by catocony View Post
You probably went through a metal detector. Most of us consider a scanner to be a millimeter wave scanner where you stop and stand with your arms up. Precheck should be metal detector only for most passengers.
Oh I think I understood now. Maybe it was when I didn't have precheck. My wife used to tell me how easy it was when she traveled with our son. I think it was metal detector thing, where you just go thru , just walk thru and when I used precheck last year.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 1:16 am
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I have an 8-year-old autistic son, and we have been flying with him since he was four (4-5 times a year). We got a letter from his doctor stating his diagnosis and the fact that he needs special food and drink. Before travel we call TSA Care and let them know when and where will be flying, so that a TSA supervisor can accompany us through security all the way to the gate. This way we skip the regular line and go through metal detector. Well, we'd go through metal detector anyway since my son is only 8. The TSA can still hassle us if we try to bring juice boxes that are larger than 100ml — in that case they either will ask to open and test the juice or pat down one of the adults.
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Old Nov 4, 18, 8:06 am
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Folks,

When posting in this thread, please keep in mind that per this forum's sticky thread the Practical Travel Safety and Security Issues form is informational.

Please limit your responses here to offering practical advice to help the OP travel safely and with minimal hassle and save your rants, commentary and opinion for the Checkpoints and Borders Policy Debate forum.

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Old Nov 4, 18, 8:50 am
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OP says that he has Pre-Check. This means a standard scanner (magnetometer in the olden days). No need to stop, raise hands and all of that. One just walks through the scanner at normal speed.

No need to alert TSA in advance or to even say anything at the podium as that simply drags out what is a simple process.

On the extraordinarily remote chance that there is an issue which causes OP and family to be referred to another line which lacks a "mag," that may be the time to raise the autism issue. But, to be clear, this is a remote possibility and there is no need to raise this in advance.

99.9% of the time, any child accompanying a Pre-Check parent (or who has Pre-Check himself) will walk through a standard mag at normal speed and there will be no issue whatsoever. This will be faster, less intrusive, and easier overall than anything else.
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Old Nov 5, 18, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
OP says that he has Pre-Check. This means a standard scanner (magnetometer in the olden days). No need to stop, raise hands and all of that. One just walks through the scanner at normal speed.

No need to alert TSA in advance or to even say anything at the podium as that simply drags out what is a simple process.

On the extraordinarily remote chance that there is an issue which causes OP and family to be referred to another line which lacks a "mag," that may be the time to raise the autism issue. But, to be clear, this is a remote possibility and there is no need to raise this in advance.

99.9% of the time, any child accompanying a Pre-Check parent (or who has Pre-Check himself) will walk through a standard mag at normal speed and there will be no issue whatsoever. This will be faster, less intrusive, and easier overall than anything else.
Thanks!
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