Students from LVS Hassocks enjoyed an inspiring visit to Gatwick Airport on Wednesday 6th June to learn about travel and gain experience of coping with airports to prepare them for travelling abroad in the future.
LVS Hassocks develops students to be able to live independently in future, and the trip gave them the knowledge and confidence to become comfortable with the processes they will need to follow to fly. The airport provided a step-by-step guide on what to do, along with a visual handbook to prepare them for travel abroad.
The five students from LVS Hassocks enjoyed a monorail trip from the south terminal to the north terminal upon arrival at Gatwick. They were given a special lanyard each, to let airport staff know that the person wearing it needs additional assistance, and were shown the security areas and talked through the processes all travellers must pass through.
With autism affecting social interaction and communication and creating sensory issues, busy places with lots of people and noise like airports can make it difficult for those with the condition to be sociable, respond to others and initiate interactions. To combat this, students practised communicating with members of the public, appropriate behaviour in a public place and learning the protocol of the airport.
LVS Hassocks’ teacher Angie Cox said: “LVS Hassocks prepares students with autism for independent lives beyond the school, and this trip was a really valuable way to deal with and minimise the anxieties that they will inevitably face when wanting to go abroad. The students very much enjoyed the trip, effectively using their communication skills to ask airport staff relevant questions. They also showed great confidence when going through the process of check-in.”