Sending your seven-year-old to travel alone on an airplane can be a nerve-wracking experience for any parent, but when you add autism to the equation, it makes the situation that much more frightening.
Between the loud hustle and bustle of airports and the not-so-courteous strangers often awaiting in the seats next to them, flying alone can be overstimulating and downright terrifying for a child with special needs.
Knowing this all too well, Alexa Bjornson wanted to make sure that her son Landon was fully equipped to make his first solo trip to visit his father in Portland. She knew that her son with high-functioning autism may have a hard time on the flight and be overly inquisitive about the destination time.
Alexa decided to give Landon a note and $10 to pass along to his seatmate to pay for his/her presumed troubles in dealing with Landon’s nervous questions throughout the duration of the flight.
“Today my son took his first flight to Oregon to see his dad,” she wrote on Facebook. “I sent Landon with a letter to give to whoever sat next to me saying he has high functioning autism so he might be nervous and ask you ‘are we there yet’ a lot, and please just make him feel safe and comfortable, with 10 dollars in the note.”
“I was feeling anxious and [Landon] was super excited to get to his dad and cousins,” Alexa told Bored Panda. “I was more worried about missing him than how HE would do on the plane. That was probably his 5th or 6th flight so he knows what to do and how to act. I was just worried about him being ‘annoying’ to his seat partner.”
“This year we had a newborn baby, and funds were too low for me to fly 3 of us there and then 2 of us back,” she added. “Landon was also having some bullying issues so we just wanted him to be able to enjoy the rest of his summer!”
What the nervous mother didn’t expect was the response she got from the beautiful stranger that God planted by Landon on that Portland-bound flight that day.