Airport Workers to Participate in Autism Training

Michelle Wirth/WABE News

A number of those who work at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport will participate in training to help them better assist those with autism.

The training program will take place next week and is part of an Emory Autism Center initiative called Advocate With Autism Resources & Education or AWARE. AWARE is a comprehensive training program designed to educate members of the community about autism spectrum disorders (ASDs).

Emory University Psychologist Lauren Castriota says the training will help those who work at the airport become more sensitive to those with autism. She says navigating the airport and boarding a plane can be stressful and overwhelming for those with ASDs. Castriota says something that seems straightforward but has a lot of steps can be difficult.

And Castriota says those who take part in the training will receive a badge to wear so they can be easily identified. The graphic on the badge includes several people holding up a globe with puzzle pieces inside. Those eligible for the training include: TSA officers, airline employees and customer service representatives.