Many times, flying is not an enjoyable experience. The crowds, the noise, the smells of our fellow travelers. But imagine if you had to deal with all of that as a child with autism, flying by yourself for the first time.
Alexa Bjornson of Las Vegas was concerned about all of that when she put her 7-year-old son Landon on a flight to Portland, OR to see his dad. To prepare whoever sat next to Landon for the flight, she sent along a note, which said in part, “He might ask you, ‘Are we there yet?’ a few times or get a little loud with his headphones on. If you could please find it in your heart to make him feel comfortable and safe, I would be forever grateful!” and included her cell phone number and $10.
Right after the plane landed, Alexa got a text from a man named Ben Pedraza, who has wound up being Landon’s seat mate. It read:
“Alexa, My name is Ben. I was Landon’s seat neighbor for his flight to Portland. He did ask if we were there yet several times but he was a great travel buddy.
We had a good time and played a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors. He’s a great kid and you’re a lucky mom.
I appreciate the $10, but it wasn’t necessary. I donated it to Autism-Society.org in honor of Landon.
Have a great day!”
Here’s hoping Ben – or Landon – sits next to me on my next flight.
[Via Good Morning America]