Traveling with kids, especially on a flight, is every parent's nightmare. Traveling with a child who is on the autism spectrum or has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), however, can be even more difficult, which is why Shannon Airport in Ireland just opened a "sensory room," so that those children can avoid the lights, noises, and crowds of the airport.
"In the latest in a long list of aviation firsts on a global, European, and national scale developed at Shannon, the sensory room off the airport's Departure Lounge will offer a relaxing environment for passengers ahead of their flight," the caption of a video promoting the room says. "It is tailored to be a soothing place away from the activity of a busy airport and comprises facilities such as aquatic bubble tube, an undulated wavy wall, color changing LEDs, wheel projector, and other items."
The main goal of the room is to avoid the stress that comes with traveling with a small child, especially one who has special needs, and Gearoid Mannion of Ennis Voices For Autism hopes that other airports across Europe will be inspired to follow suit with their own sensory rooms. "This is an airport that welcomes everybody," says Ann Norton, the Mayor of Ennis and the parent of a child with a disability. "With the new sensory room they have listened, they have watched, and they have actually done."