Mother travelling with autistic child touched by airline’s moving gesture
A mother with an autistic son has thanked her fellow United Airline passengers for their empathy and compassion as her four-year-old Braysen had a meltdown mid-flight.
Mum Lori Gabriel took to Facebook to share her experience on the three-and-a-half-hour service from San Diego to Magnolia.
"So my little flyer (he's autistic but normally loves to fly) didn't have such a good flight home," she wrote on Facebook.
"Trying to get him to stay seated was impossible he wanted to sit on the floor in the hall and in first class."
Gabriel told Yahoo that she didn’t think it would end this way.
“I figured he would sleep on the plane,” Lori explained.
“I didn’t think it would turn out this way.”
It was a battle to keep Braysen seated, as he was in the middle of a meltdown.
“He was screaming, hitting and kicking me, and pulling my hair. I thought, ‘Everyone must hate us,” Lori said.
This turned out to be false.
There was an unexpected amount of support that came from unlikely places, including fellow passengers and crew members who were highly accommodating.
"To the man in first class seat 6C you rock thanks for playing with Braysen and not minding him kicking your seat or messing with you! He loved your high fives!" Lori shared in a Facebook post.
However, it was a note from an off-duty airline staff member that meant the most to the Gabriel family, which she included in the Facebook post.
"Do not EVER let anyone make you feel as though you are an inconvenience or a burden. He is a blessing. God bless your patience, you love, your support, and your strength. Continue to be super woman. And know you and your family are loved and supported."
The note is signed: "United Family".