Like many parents of autistic children might be, Angie Solis was worried about taking her son to the airport. She knew that 13-year-old Zion, who is autistic, might not deal well with the crowded space and the drastic change from his regular routine.
In a panic, Angie Solis called the Indianapolis International Airport Thursday morning before she and Zion arrived, trying to arrange some sort of assistance to make the experience easier for Zion.
When they walked in at around 5 am, there were hundreds of people in line, waiting to take off for their spring break destinations. Zion’s anxiety was already high, and Angie feared he was on the verge of a meltdown.
Luckily, that’s when an angel TSA agent named Alesea stepped in and guided the pair through security, immediately escorting them to the front of the line. Angie says it was like this passenger support specialist was sent from “TSA Heaven.”
“She spoke directly to my son. She treated him like a person with feelings and a voice and worth.”
Alesea brought Angie and Zion to a separate room and treated them to a gentler version of standard airport security screening. She didn’t require Zion to remove his shoes, did not invade his personal space with a pat-down, and was careful not to overwhelm him with too much conversation. It only took Angie and Zion 14 minutes to get from the airport doors to their gate to wait for their plane.
Alesea’s consideration prevented Zion from having a meltdown, which could have caused them to miss their plane. So Angie, grateful for the kindness and extra care, took to Facebook to thank her son’s new favorite TSA agent. Alesea was then awarded a TSA coin as a reward for her excellent service.
We need more people in the world as supportive and understanding as Alesea and the other members of the TSA staff at the Indianapolis International Airport. Keep up the great work!
Click “next” for the story of two officers who stepped up after thieves destroyed an autistic boy’s bike.
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?