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Miami International Airport hosts children with disabilities to help them overcome any fear of flying

MIA helps kids with disabilities overcome their fears of flying
MIA helps kids with disabilities overcome their fears of flying 02:17

MIAMI - More than two dozen families are now ready to take flight. In recognition of Autism Acceptance Month, Miami International Airport hosted their MIA Air Tour. Their goal is for children with disabilities and their families to overcome any fears of flying. 

Little Alexander couldn't be more excited. He is boarding a plane for the very first time.

"I'm a little nervous but excited at the same time," said Lavinia Ana's mother.

Alexander and his mom Lavinia will be traveling to Romania next week, but on Wednesday, they took a mock flight along with more than two dozen children with special needs and their families to take in the whole experience.

From checking in at the ticket counter to passing through security — which as we know can be stressful — then walking to the gate and onto the plane.

This is all part of Miami International Airport's latest MIA Airport Instruction and Readiness Program for children with special abilities and their families to rehearse the air travel experience from start to finish in a controlled environment.

"Our goal by having this program is for anyone, regardless of their disability, to be able to experience the magic and wonder of flight like everyone else can," said MIA Director Ralph Cutie.

"We want our families in the spectrum and all of our families with disabilities to be able to enjoy what everyone else enjoys and that includes traveling so this is a huge part of living in Miami is being able to come to MIA and see the world and we want to make sure that it is a beautiful and wonderful experience," said Commissioner Raquel Regalado.

A wonderful experience Lavinia and all these families hope to have and are asking their fellow passengers to please understand.

"I hope everybody is understanding and kind and prepared a t-shirt for him, so we will be aware," said Ana.

Not only was this a learning experience for the families and the children, but also for airline and TSA employees. Aside from the rehearsal and tours, there are also two multi-sensory rooms at MIA for children with special needs.

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