Plane trips can be quite a stressful process, even for an adult who has traveled long enough.
Imagine, then, how much a child with a disorder such as autism can be anxious.
Based on this rationale, many airports – and not only around the world – are making a sensitivity move and giving families with children with invisible disabilities the opportunity to avoid queuing and waiting, in order to reduce the stress and stress they may experience their children.
The Sunflower Lanyard
What exactly do they do? They give the family a green neckline with sunflowers, so anyone who sees it knows that this family needs priority.
It’s called ‘SunFlower Lanyard‘ and provides better service to those in need. According to the BBC, passengers with the special sign may, among other things, have more time available for security checks and boarding, clear instructions for each stage of the journey and the ability to be separated from other family members at all times. even if they are adults.
Why they chose the sunflower..
As we read in the official page of the organization that launched the Sunflower Lanyard idea, hiddendisabilitiesstore.com, they chose sunflower as their symbol to express happiness, positive aura and power. It is a globally recognized flower, and remains racially neutral. The colors are also carefully selected, as the bright yellow and bright green are easily visible from afar.
When did the idea for the string with the sunflowers begin..
This “measure” was launched in May 2016 at London’s Gatwick Airport, and not only for children but also for adults who may have autism, Alzheimer’s, vision or hearing problems and general mobility difficulties and not only.
Since then, more airports – and outside of England – have adopted the above tactic, while other goods and even supermarket services have been launched and involved in the scene!
The blue hat of Cyprus
In Cyprus Hermes Airports is committed to making air travel easier for people with autism by implementing a number of actions. Wearing ‘I Can Fly’ blue hats, people with autism and their families travel as easily, quickly and calmly as possible, making airport procedures much more stress free.
In addition, they are provided with rich illustrated material with helpful travel tips, checklists and illustrated route history at the airport step-by-step (material available on Hermes Airports website).
The moving testimony..
We read on Alexandra Kalantzi’s Facebook page the experience of a sunflower family at Malaga Airport, and we were deeply moved.
“Do you see the cord with the sunflowers that this mother wears?
She was given by land help at Malaga Airport in Spain.
It aims to help us recognize that in this beautiful family there is a person with a “weakness”. Their child is autistic.
This signal was used to help the family adequately by all means, so they passed the queues and the child remained calm.
So if you ever find yourself anywhere and not just at the airports and meet someone with this strap, let him get into the queues.
It’s a polite gesture.
Let’s not forget that someone may have more difficulties than us.
We can help make their lives a little easier for these people.
The article was translated from greek by Lampros Yiangou(AbleBook)