Grad student researching the Airport Experience for Individuals with ASD

My name is Aisha and I am an occupational therapy graduate student working on a research project.  I am researching the airport experience in the United States for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families or caregivers and I would love to hear about your experiences. 

Your answers will help increase the number of programs and adaptations that help you to have a good time at the airport. Your answers will also help identify what is causing you to have a bad time at the airport and find solutions to improve your experience.  This data can increase opportunities for individuals with ASD and their families to travel the world.   

*This survey has 2 pathways.  One pathway for individuals with ASD and the other pathway is for family members and caregivers.  The individual with ASD and their family member or caregiver can both take the survey since there are 2 different pathways.  

  • Survey will take approximately 15-30 minutes to complete
  • If you assist someone in filling out the survey, please fill it out from their perspective. 

Thank you for your interest in my research!

Please forward to anyone who may be interested in taking this survey. Thank you!

Please let me know if you have any questions!

  • I tune everything out and know what I need from experience with being around people who know how to get through airports. 

  • I am a fairly frequent traveler. Most of my Family lives on the West Coast and I live on the East Coast. I’ve both flown across solo and driven across solo. I was diagnosed at 3 years old all the way back in 1989 and just turned 35 almost 3 weeks ago. My fiancé who’s also on the Spectrum flew for the very first time back in September 2012. We flew into San Francisco from Charlotte on AirTran Airways which merged into Southwest Airlines not long after. We’ve flown a number of times since even without one another. Without me, she’s flown with her Mom to Wisconsin and Connecticut. 

    What I do when she flies with me on Southwest is I pre-board us just so I can make things run smoothly that much more. I am a non-factor so I don’t go that route if I’m flying solo. As for the Airports, as long as I have access to food and restrooms, I’m good. Security check is a non-issue. Check-in is a non-issue. Layovers are largely a non-issue. I prefer them because again, I like to stop and recharge, get back on the bird and go. Sensory wise, I use the sensory quirks to my advantage every day. I’ve been involved in Security since I was 18 in 2004, with 11 years of that in Asset Protection for the Retail Industry. I’m still in AP. 

    Here are the Airports I’ve been through since 2010.

    Chatlotte-Douglas International. CLT(Home field)

    Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International. ATL

    Las Vegas Harry Reid International. LAS(Previous home field)

    Reno-Tahoe. RNO

    Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky. CVG

    Memphis. MEM(FedEx home Airfiled)

    Nashville International. BNA

    Houston-Bush Intercontinental. IAH

    Houston-Hobby. HOU

    Dallas-Love Field. DAL

    Austin-Bergstrom. AUS

    Chicago-Midway. MDW

    Chicago-O’hare. ORD

    Baltimore-Washington International. BWI

    Washington-Dulles International. IAD

    San Francisco International. SFO

    Oakland International. OAK(destination field)

    Los Angeles International. LAX

    St. Louis-Lambert International. STL(Pending layover in 6 weeks on my way out to Oakland). 

    Prior to 2010, I had not been on a plane since 1992 when we moved back to the US from Germany. In that trip we went through Frankfurt, JFK, then onto SFO. I’m due to fly to Oakland and drive up into Wine Country where most of my family lives. I’ll be stopping in St. Louis and have time to get food while there. This trip however will be one of the hardest trips of my life. My sister is dying at just 37 years old. This will be the last time I see her before she passes away.