Traveling with kids, especially on a long flight, it every parent's nightmare. Traveling with a child who is on the autism spectrum or has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), however, can be even more difficult. The Shannon Airport in Ireland just opened a 'sensory room'. The long process of standing on long lines, having their bags checked, and going through security can be particularly invasive and terrifying for some kids, which is where the sensory room comes in. With its dim lighting, comfy cushions, and calming visuals, the sensory room serves as a safe haven for kids until they are ready to board their flight. It has an aquatic bubble tube, an undulated wavy wall, color changing LED lights, a wheel projector, and other kid-friendly activities.
As unique as all that sounds, airport sensory rooms aren’t actually a brand new concept. In fact, just last year, Delta Airlines partnered with an autism advocacy group to create Atlanta Airport’s first multi-sensory room for individuals with autism. But they definitely are rare!