Parents who have children with complex medical conditions, developmental delay and autism share their tips:

  • Prior to traveling, find out where medical care facilities are located that can take care of your child in an emergency or provide special medical care (like dialysis).
  • Carry a typed list of your child’s medications from their doctor. You can use this to show TSA agents, as well as have on hand if your child needs medical care in another city.
  • Ask for extra time for loading, unloading and going through security.
  • Seats are not always automatically assigned together. When booking your flight, ask and confirm that you and your child have seats together. Tell the travel agent or airline that your child requires you, as their travel attendant, to be seated with him or her.
  • If your child uses an extra large stroller, call ahead to find out about storage during flight and if you can use the stroller during connections.
  • When traveling with a child at risk for increased symptoms, learn ahead of time where the nearest medical facility is located, and bring along a care plan that can be used by any provider.
  • Contact your insurance company to check your child’s coverage when traveling out of their provider network area.
  • Pack medicines in clear plastic bags so the security officers can clearly see them.
  • Always build in a lot of extra time for all the unknowns that can happen.
  • TSA agents, screening equipment and practices will differ from airport to airport. Be prepared to be flexible and think ahead of different scenarios.
  • Talk with your child to prepare them for many things that could happen. Talk through different scenarios such as “You will go through the separate security area in your wheelchair and I will come behind you.”
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