She worried her son with autism would bother his seatmate on the plane. Instead, they ended up travel buddies
This mom felt a little worried when her 7-year-old son with autism had to fly solo for the first time.
Children with autism perceive the world differently from most of us, which means that some regular situations can make them feel uneasy, including being on a plane. While most people are able to relax and sleep during the flight, kids with autism will find it difficult to do so.
That’s what Landon Bjornson’s mom, Alexa, was worried about. She wasn’t sure how her son with autism would fare on a flight from Las Vegas to Oregon on his own to see his dad. Landon had high-functioning autism, and he may frequently ask “Are we there yet?” like many children do.
Before the trip, Alexa gave Landon a note explaining his condition along with a $10 bill, which he should present to his plane seatmate.
“I thought, how do I make it so whoever’s sitting next to him won’t look at him as a burden but more of like, I can help this kiddo get through the day,” Alexa told KATU.
But as it turns out, she had absolutely nothing to be concerned about.
Landon ended up sitting beside Ben Pedraza, who said he didn’t need the cash incentive as his seatmate was such a great travel companion. The two got along really well and by the end of the flight, Ben took a photo of him and his new friend and sent it to Alexa along with a reassuring message.
“He did ask if we were there yet several times but he was a great travel buddy,” Ben wrote. “We had a good time and played a few rounds of rock-paper-scissors. He’s a great kid and you’re a lucky mom.”
Ben said that he “appreciated” the $10, but “it wasn’t necessary”. The money still went to a good cause, as he donated it to Autism-Society.org in honor of Landon.
According to Ben, Landon was an easy travel companion, but after a time, he’s had it with his brand of humor.
“We were cracking jokes, and after a while, he asked me to quit making dad jokes,” he said.
Alexa posted about the whole story on her Facebook and expressed her deepest gratitude to Ben for what he did for his son with autism.
“I am so grateful to this individual, and that there are still kind people in the world who make a difference like I try myself to do as well. Thank you so much Ben!!!!” she wrote.
An outstanding act from such a considerate man.