Imagine a mom's anxiety when she sends her teen son or daughter with autism off into a world that she knows isn't prepared to accommodate his or her needs. It happens all the time. But for one family, at least, one of the most stressful experiences that anyone has to deal with -- flying -- has been made a bit easier, thanks to the unlikely efforts of one of the busiest airports in the world.
For the past five years, staff at London's Heathrow Airport have helped 21-year-old Aaran Stewart, who has severe autism and obsessive compulsive disorder, deal with the extremely uncomfortable reality -- particularly for a person with autism who doesn't cope well with changes -- of having to fly four times a year to attend a school in Boston.
Heathrow has gone out of its way to be a role model for other corporations. But efforts like its should become the norm, and not the exception.