AUTISTIC children from all over the world are getting help from Bolton youngsters with the disorder.
Autistic children from the town have helped to develop and launch a guide to air travel to help parents taking journeys with youngsters who have the condition.
Pupils from Rumworth School and charity Bolton Kidz2gether were invited to Manchester Airport for a special event and the booklet was available from yesterday, World Autism Day.
The guide, Airport Awareness, is designed to make air travel less daunting by letting autistic children know what to expect.
Youngsters with autism, a lifelong developmental disability, can get distressed if their routines alter, but can cope well if prepared.
Katy Gough, a press officer for the airport, came up with the idea for the booklet. She said: "The airport environment is an alien one and processes such as check-in and security require co-operation with strict guidelines.
"By including information in the guide about each stage of travelling through the airport and illustrating it, parents are able to plan their journey with their child, helping them understand what to expect."
The free guide shows what to expect from arriving and checking-in, to going through security and returning home. Adrian Hewitt, of Ladybridge, has a nine-year-old son, Sam, a pupil at Ladybridge Primary School, who has Asperger's syndrome.
Mr Hewitt, aged 35 said: "We travelled to Egypt with Sam last year and it was difficult, even though the airport tried to help it was just a very different environment for him. We will use the guide next time and I'm sure it will make a difference." The guide is available from the information desks at the airport and can be also be obtained by contacting 0161 489 3446, emailing email@example.com or visiting www.manchesterairport.co.uk
The Bolton News, 4th April 2009