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JetBlue Autism

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Getting four young kids through an airport - and on a plane is a challenge. But for the Price family it's even more difficult. Their youngest child - Callum - has autism. The four-year-old has never been on a plane.

Callum often acts-out in unfamiliar settings, especially when there is lots of noise and activity. "Being out in public and doing things with him is very difficult," says Zsuzsa Price.

The Prices and 100 other families who have autistic children are getting a chance to practice the entire travel experience. JetBlue Airways and Autism Speaks recently sponsored a 'Flight Training' program at New York's JFK Airport. Families lined up for check-in, boarded a real aircraft then taxied around the airport.

"Meltdowns, sometimes they happen. That's part of why we did this practice. This is an environment where everyone has been trained and they're supportive," says Lisa Goring.

Parents of children with autism say one of the toughest parts of the travel experience is the time before take-off when electronic devices must be turned off. "So now we're taking away his fun toys and a way to communicate which can maybe escalate a behavior," says parent Alison Giangregorio.

Families say airline employees and passengers aren't usually as nice as they were during the flight training. Still, the Prices say they now have the confidence they needed. "So this is rehearsal for Disney? Yes, this is rehearsal," says Tom.

They're planning to travel to Disney World this December.

JetBlue says it plans to roll out similar programs in Boston, Los Angeles, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and San Juan in the near future.

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