People with developmental and intellectual disabilities rehearse for flights

Posted at 9:26 PM, Aug 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-25 00:17:04-04

BOISE — Flying can be stressful for anyone, but people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can often get overwhelmed by bright lights, noises, and crowds. A program called Wings for Autism works to alleviate some of stress.

"It seems like a wonderful tool to get them kind of used to the process. Ya, take away some of their anxiety and apprehension," said Captain Scott Adikes, SkyWest Airlines.

"The unexpected is really difficult for some children and if we know what to expect, it does take the edge off of the nerves and it makes opportunities possible," said Amber Myers, parent.

The families start at check in, get their tickets, go through security, and they board the plane in alphabetical order. While they don’t actually go up in the air, they do get a little speed without leaving the ground.

"We went to our seats and then we sat down, buckled up, and then they went around with the beverage cart and then I moved once they parked the plane," said Ethan Perry, passenger.

It opens up opportunities for families that they wouldn't have otherwise.

"I love to travel and I hope my kids will too. I don't want anything have to hold them back. I want to feel and experience and ask questions and enjoy it," said Noel O'shea, parent.