Pittsburgh International Airport’s New Sensory Room Aims to Help People with Autism
Pittsburgh International Airport is taking major steps to ensure all of their passengers travel comfortably.
The airport recently unveiled a new “sensory room,” created to help adults and children who have autism (as well as other special needs) to feel more at ease before their flights.
What exactly is a sensory room? Well, this one includes a soundproof room featuring a replica of a jet cabin, soothing lights, bubble tubes, a bathroom (with an adult-size changing table) and private areas for families to relax before boarding their flights.
And from the photos it looks pretty awesome.
Jason Rudge, a heavy equipment operator at PIA, suggested the idea for the room after noticing the effect a similar one had on his 4-year-old son Presley, who has autism.
“The difference was like night and day after he went into a sensory room,” Rudge told the Today show. “He’d come out of the sensory room and be ready to interact with others.”
?I?ve never done anything that has impacted so many people.? Find out how an airport employee's four-year-old son inspired Pittsburgh International Airport?s industry-leading sensory-friendly space: https://t.co/lTeLxQuOEO pic.twitter.com/0UZ11TKw7P? Pittsburgh International Airport (@PITairport) July 24, 2019
It was then that he reached out to the airport’s CEO, Christina Cassotis, recommending a similar project for PIA. And it wasn’t long before the sensory room was underway.
One of the key pieces? The 1,500-square-foot room’s replica cabin, “Presley’s Place.”
“It was made using all of the materials used in a real jet cabin and has all of the functions featured on an airplane,” said Cassotis. “It gets kids and adults acclimated.”
Rudge (and PIA) hopes that families who have struggled to take flights before can now have an easier time traveling and becoming accustomed to new surroundings.
All we have to say is, way to go Pittsburgh International Airport. We absolutely love this.