AIR - Helping Families Soar

What People Are Saying

Families

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Green Family

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Catanese Family

AIR has helped many families through our innovative inclusion programs.

"As a family, we were truly fortunate to be selected by Dr. Ross for the Autism Airport Program. For the past few years, we have wanted to fly to Disney World with Julian, a huge Disney fan. However, we didn't know if Julian could handle all of policies and procedures that you must follow in order to fly."

"Through the Autism Airport Program, we had the opportunity to totally simulate the process of checking bags, boarding, and preparing for take off.  The simulation worked so well Julian said "let's fly to Disney."

"A year later, we flew to Orlando and had a wonderful time at Disney World.  Without the Autism Airport Program, I don't know if Julian would have been able to experience his first plane ride."
- Derek and Sheila Green

"Thanks to this program my daughter has learned that vacations are in fact a wonderfully fun family experience."

"Before going through the program, even the sight of airplanes in the sky would bring back bad memories for Genavieve, now she has the confidence of positive experience and memories and knows she can fly without fear."

"Genavieve transformed from a little girl terrified of airplanes & airports to a confident traveler who is now able & WILLING to join our family for well deserved vacations."

"Thanks to this program, Autism has not been able to hold Genavieve back on seeing the world!"
- Melanie Catanese, Parent

"Autism Inclusion Resources provided us instruction and training resources prior to our first international flight with our son, Liam, last summer. Through discussion with Dr. Ross and work with airport personnel at Newark Airport, we were able to prepare Liam to travel. This may sound like a small effort, but because our son suffers from crippling anxiety coincident with his autism, any "new" experience can be traumatic and extremely difficult. Through instruction, preparation and role play, Liam learned how to tolerate, and indeed succeed in the travel process."

"Being able to travel to Italy with all three of my children was a gift. I wasn't sure that our family would ever have that experience. It is the work of Dr. Ross and her colleagues that made this trip possible for our family, and can make it possible for many more families.  We are planning a return trip to Italy for this summer. It will require instructional review and more practice to again prepare Liam for travel. I am incredibly fortunate, as the gift of travel is being made possible for our family again."
- Alison Niederauer

Organizations

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United Airlines Captain Richard A. Parella (second from left) and associates

"It is such a rewarding experience for myself and fellow crew members, knowing that we are able to open up a whole new world of air travel for these special children and their families."
- Captain Richard A. Parella
Assistant Chief Pilot
Northeast Region
United Airlines

“Dr. Ross’ expertise and partnership has greatly enhanced the Academy’s ability to create accessible and inclusive programs for our constituents. Synergistic activities like this leverage powerful resources that broaden opportunity and deepen our collective impact.”
- Angela Wenger
Vice President and COO
New Jersey Academy of Aquatic Sciences

Public Officials

“President Obama has called on us ensure that America is a place where everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules. Part of that effort is making sure that people with disabilities have full access to our nation’s transportation system,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “The Department of Transportation supports the work of the Autism Airport Program and others like it to help children with autism and their families take advantage of and enjoy the air travel experience.”
- Ray LaHood
Secretary of Transportation

“TSA shall also work with airports to expand mock boarding events, such as those held for families with autistic children, and shall continue to improve the screening process for young passengers, as directed in the Senate report.”
- Excerpt from NJ Senator Frank Lautenberg Sponsored Bill
Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Bill

"The Bureau of Autism Services in Pennsylvania has been impressed by the work of Autism Inclusion Resources and eagerly awaits AIR's future endeavors.  The Bureau believes that addressing the needs of those with autism in the community is an important part of improving outcomes and consistent with the findings of Pennsylvania's recent autism needs assessment."
- Nina Wall-Cote
Chair of the Board of Autism Services, Pennsylvania

Clinical Professionals

The Gray Center is honored to be affiliated with Dr. Wendy Ross and this important project.  This Airport Autism Accessibility Program is all about opportunity - expanding the experiences of children with autism by making air travel accessible.  What an incredible positive difference this project is making, not only for children with autism, but their families as well!
- Carol Gray

On behalf of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, I would like to strongly express our enthusiasm and to endorse the efforts of Autism Inclusion Resources. We are looking forward to witnessing the future of this innovative program.
- Desmond Kelly, President Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

For 30 years I've been an educator specializing in autism, so I am especially aware of the need for a program like hers. It has been far too often that my students and families suffered because there were no community based activities or resources available.  Dr Ross brings her valuable expertise, her creativity and most important, her compassion to this project to finally enable those with autism to be fully included. What a gift for the autism community!
- Cathy Grayson, M.A., Educational Consultant