3-year-old autistic child refused to fly with family because he couldn't stand the mask

/ Mom / Child / A 3-year-old autistic child refused to fly with his family because he could not stand the mask

The US airline, which imposes a mandatory mask on all passengers over two years old, turned down a three-year-old passenger with autism who could not stand the mask.

A real scandal. This Monday, August 10, as this family was about to take the plane to Houston, Texas, to return home, they were evacuated from the plane. The reason ? Their 3-year-old son Jaei, who has autism, didn't want to wear his mask because he couldn't stand it. "It was just not a good morning", laments Alyssa Sadler, reports metro time.

The mother, her little boy and her one-year-old daughter had traveled to Midland, where the father is, temporarily assigned to work 700 km from their home. While they were in the plane taking off, her son had a seizure. " He was shouting. He was in the midst of a crisis. He was screaming ‘no no no’”, Alyssa Sadler tells KPRC. The little boy suffers from a sensory processing disorder and can't stand something touching his face. This mother even had a doctor's prescription, but it was clearly not enough for the staff on board. “The mask is not going to be useful”, says Alyssa. “He's not going to wear a mask”.

“There should be an exception”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the US airline Southwest Airlines is forcing all passengers over two years old to wear a mask, with no exceptions. In addition, since last July, the company no longer accepts passengers with a medical reason because several travelers had lied about their state of health. “I think they should put something in place for children as well as adults with disabilities who cannot tolerate the mask. There should be an exception ”, says the young mother.

Following this refusal, Gary Kelly, the boss of the company defended his policy: “There must be no exceptions, because the exception could be someone who has the virus. I have a lot of empathy ", he says. "I am a grandfather myself, I have small grandchildren and I know what they can be. But the question is to make sure that the environment is safe for everyone, including all families. " The company says the Sadler family will be reimbursed. The small tribe drove home thanks to a family member who came to pick them up.

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Video by Loïcia Fouillen