Sending your kid on a flight alone can be scary for any parent – but when your child has a special condition these times can be extra nerve-wracking. Alexa Bjornson sent her 7-year-old son Landon Bjornson to visit his dad in Portland but as a kid with high-functioning autism, his mom knew that flights could be difficult for him – so she was prepared.
Bjornson was unsure of how her son would do on his own so she gave Landon a note for his seatmate along with $10 for their presumed troubles. What happened on his flight though warmed her heart and reminded her that there are really good people in the world.
Mom Alexa Bjorson was worried about her son’s first solo flight. Because of his autism, she wasn’t sure how he fair on the trip – so she tried to prepare
She explained to KATU via video conference her motivation behind the note and tip. “I thought, how do I make it so whoever’s sitting next to him won’t look at him as a burden but more of like, I can help this kiddo get through the day,” but as it turns out she didn’t have to worry. Landon ended up sat next to Ben Pedraza, who described Landon as “a great travel buddy.” The two became fast friends said Pedraza, “We were cracking jokes, and after a while, he asked me to quit making dad jokes,” he said in a separate video conference. After the flight, he sent a text to the kid’s mom that melted her heart.
Bjorson shared the story and it quickly spread around the internet – the mom said she was so grateful at the impact it had made on people
Image credits: alexa.bjornson
“I want to thank Ben all over again. He is amazing,” Bjornson, 28, a server and bartender from Las Vegas, told TODAY Parents. “It is a very humbling experience and I just hope that it raises awareness that if you see children having a hard time — or not — that just a kind gesture can change the outlook in their lives.”
People in the comments loved the heartwarming story
Image credits: jasonofthedead
Image credits: 1Sunnyone2
Image credits: 808oceangirl
Image credits: joebecerra9
Image credits: jasminebrooke_h
Image credits: BoSaif66
Image credits: Roy_CSCS_SCA
The Marcus Autism Center offers several recommendations for parents traveling with children who have autism: Check flight schedules for the best times of day for your child to travel. If she can sleep on a plane, naptime may be a good time to fly. Plan ahead for your seats. Consider requesting bulkhead or aisle seats, particularly if your child likes to kick his or her legs or move around. Don’t forget to pack necessary coping or treatment items in your carry-on bag, like a change of clothes and medicines. Many airports and airlines have supportive resources and staff. Don’t hesitate to ask for the help you need.