BRAVO! Airport Creates Sensory Friendly Room For Children With Special Needs

Many parents with children struggle while traveling – as it isn’t easy keeping the little ones occupied (and patient) throughout the perils of traveling.

But for moms who have a child with special needs – this reality is multiplied even more – and many moms decide traveling via plane simply isn’t worth it and opt for the car route.

Knowing the struggles moms face, one airport created the most incredible room that is changing the life of children with special needs forever.

To start with, the airport can be traumatizing to children with autism or sensory needs.

The bright lights. The loud noises. All the people.

Sometimes the stimulation is too much and can cause even the quietest child to have a full-blown public meltdown.

And sadly, as Mommy Underground previously reported, not all adults are compassionate and understanding to moms with children who have special needs.

These moms do their best to anticipate the needs of their child by purchasing noise-canceling headphones or weighted blankets, and making sure to have their child’s favorite blanket or toy, but sometimes it is just not enough.

Other children become frightened while traveling – especially if it is their first time boarding a plane and they don’t know what to expect inside an airplane.

Often the fear of the unknown is worse than the actual process of getting on a plane.

That’s true for most adults – but especially children. 

And for children with special needs, travel already disrupts their often routine schedule so their anxiety is often heightened. 

But instead of placing the burden on the parents to just “control their children” one airport decided to think outside of the box. 

Pittsburgh International Airport installed a “sensory room” – allowing children to enter a sound-proof room that is a replica of the inside of a jet cabin!

This incredible room has the soothing lights and bubble tube lamps (a favorite for children with sensory needs) and even an adult changing table.

Because of this room, children can now get used to what it feels like inside a jet cabin, and have time to unwind and relax once they get through what was bound to be a stressful process of checking bags and going through security checkpoints.  

New York Post reported:

“Pittsburgh International Airport just installed a “sensory room,” which will help those with autism and other special needs acclimate to the in-flight experience before stepping onto the plane. The sound-proof space includes a reproduction of an American Airlines jet cabin — seat belts, overhead bins and all — allowing kids to get used to the environment. The 1,500-square-foot room is also equipped with comfy seating, soothing lights, bubble tube lamps and an adult-sized changing table.”

For as much grief as airports often cause passengers, this time they knocked it out of the park.

Hats off to these brilliant designers for having the compassion and heart to help make the travel experience better for children with special needs. 

More airports should adopt this same practice.

And even though some adults may not be compassionate to children with special needs, there are more and more reports of adults going above and beyond to show love and compassion to children with special needs.


These small acts of kindness might not seem like much – but they make a world of difference to these moms and their precious children. 

What are your thoughts on airports building a “sensory friendly room” for children with special needs?

Do you think more airports should do the same?

How can you show compassion to a mom who is struggling with her child at the airport?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

To stay current on the latest Mommy Underground stories, subscribe to our YouTube channel. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and be sure to like and share our posts!

Comments are closed.