A handful of airports are starting to make changes to accommodate travelers on the autism spectrum.
Pittsburgh's recently opened “sensory rooms” to help people decompress from the stress of flying — as well as a room that replicates an airplane cabin.
Pittsburgh International Airport has opened a 1,500-square-foot “sensory space” to help people on the autism spectrum decompress during travel. Soothing colors and private, soundproof rooms are a hit.
Traveling through an airport can be an anxiety-inducing experience for anyone, but for people on the autism spectrum, the sensory bombardment can make the experience even more intense.
“Between smells and sounds and sights and… announcements — all of that can be alarming for a lot of typical people,” says University of Pittsburgh special education professor Rachel Robertson. “But for people with autism, it could be really terrifying.”