Tablets For Autistic Child, Parent of autistic child criticises British Airways over tablet policy

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Tablets For Autistic Child – Parents who flew from Jordan to England condemned British Airways after the airline refused to allow its autistic child to travel with the iPad. Fayez Abu Awad questioned why the company did not lift the ban on carrying laptops and other electronic items into the cabin, even though other airlines did so.

Last year, the UK and US governments restricted passengers from carrying tablets or laptops when flying directly to Britain and America from certain Middle Eastern countries for fear that the device could contain explosives. British authorities say “most operators operate” from cities such as the Jordanian capital Amman is no longer subject to restrictions, but BA continues with the policy.

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“Surely there is a way to maintain the sanity of other passengers by letting a seven-year-old child bring his interference tablet with him ?!” Abu Awad wrote on Twitter.

“Do you know what is traveling 24 hours with an autistic child who is not satisfied? Do you want your passengers to experience that?

“Why do you keep the flight ban from Amman even though the government appoints it.”

The ban in March last year affected 10 airports and nine airlines, including Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Royal Jordanian.

Four months later the restrictions were lifted after US officials visited the area to ensure new security measures were taken.

This includes increasing passenger screening, supporting security protocols around the aircraft and waiting areas plus the use of tracking dogs.

Asked to comment on their policies, BA said passengers “cannot carry larger laptops, tablets and cellphones in (their) hand luggage” on direct flights from Jordan to England.

“The safety and security of our customers and crew will always be our top priority and we continue to work very closely with governments and airports around the world,” the airline added.

In a statement, the British government said: “Some airlines have decided to maintain the ban for operational reasons.

“This does not reflect safety standards at this airport, but is an operational decision by individual operators.”

There is no specific attention span for autistic children – some have no problems at all while others are very disturbed, Professor Declan Murphy, an autism expert at Kings College London, told The National.

“For those who are disturbed, anything that can make the situation easier to help the child, whether iPad or something else, is useful,” he said. “The best thing for children is the best.”

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