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Richard Branson’s Virgin Holidays Makes Vacation Easier For Children With Autism

Update Date: Feb 18, 2017 12:01 PM EST

Richard Branson's Virgin Holidays is working towards making holiday trips easier for families with children with autism. Traveling with children afflicted with the disease could be a challenge to some parents and families. The long lines and loud noises can be stressful.

Virgin Holidays is reported by Independent that it wants to enhance their provisions for families with autism throughout their entire holiday. It is now considering various initiatives to assist families who wish to travel.

Jo-Ann D'Costa-Manuel, founder and director of charity Autism Parent Empower, details new initiatives they want to do with Virgin Holidays. These include training staff and providing detailed information about what to expect of families with autism.

In the United Kingdom, around 700,000 people, or 1.1 percent, are diagnosed with autism. It is a disability that affects communication and social interaction. The Civil Aviation Authority has already encourage airports to have open days for passengers to familiarise themselves with the environment. The airport is a challenging environment for passengers with dementia, autism and mental health problems.

Virgin Atlantic has already invited families to visit their training rig. It resembles the interior of a real plane and a check in area. The idea is to make families with autism get familiar to the environment before they fly.

Aside from Virgin Holidays, Tesco has also launched a quite hour scheme to make shopping more comfortable for customers with autism. Wings for Autism in Oklahoma is also working to help children practice at Will Rogers World Airport. The organization practice with families to get boarding passes, go through security and board a plane. They even get to hear pre-flight instructions inside the plane.

D'Costa-Manuel has also been looking into other hotels on top with Virgin Holidays. She is set to travel to Mexico to look into possibilities of forming partnership with companies with regards to travel plans for families with autism.

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