JetBlue took 15 children with autism on a special flight to learn how to better serve kids with special needs.
For the Silver Lakes Elementary School students and their parents, every step of the air travel experience was simulated on Wednesday for the airlines Wings for Autism program. They went through TSA checkpoints and heard in-flight pilot announcements at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
Natalia Morón, a teacher at the elementary school, said children with autism may find the various steps required to board a plane challenging.
"For them, it is overwhelming," she said.
Morón presented to airport officials as they planned the program, and to help the children prepare, she created flashcards the TSA may now adopt.
"The top directors, they said, 'We'll take it. We'll put it in every line,'" said Morón.
The airport partnered with the Transportation Security Administration and JetBlue for the program. The JetBlue employees who participated did so on their day off.
The partnership is considering expanding the program to other schools and more carriers.