New ‘Safe Space’ For Children With Autism Opens At Miami Airport
By Leah Freeman-Haskin
Children with autism now have a place to relax before traveling thanks to a partnership between Miami International Airport (MIA) and the Miami Beat Team. In recognition of Autism Awareness Month, MIA is celebrating the completion of their new Multi-Sensory Room for young passengers with cognitive or developmental disabilities.
Miami-airport.com says that the “Multi-Sensory Room is a dedicated space where passengers with cognitive and developmental disabilities, such as autism can enjoy a calm and stimulating environment while they wait for their flight. The room includes sensory aids that stimulate reaction and encourage communication, as well as reduce agitation and anxiety from the hustle and bustle of airport travel.”
According to autismspeaks.org, traveling can be especially challenging for both children and adults with autism. The changes in routine, unpredictability, crowds, new noises and sights can all make the experience difficult for people on the spectrum and their families.
The Multi-Sensory Room is part of MIA’s MIAair program which “provides a dress rehearsal program that allows passengers with different disabilities the opportunity to practice the travel experience in a safe and controlled environment. The program helps prepare travelers for future flights.”
The space will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and will be located just beyond Concourse D TSA security checkpoint #4.
If you are looking for more ways to help ease upcoming travel concerns, TSA Cares is a helpline to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. Call TSA Cares 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. You may also call to request assistance at the checkpoint.