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Wings For All, program for children with special needs, visits Bush airport

HOUSTON – Going through security at the airport can be a bit of a hassle.

Now imagine if you have a child with a disability.

On Tuesday, some families got a little bit of practice thanks to Wings For All.

Alex Starr is 11, but has global delays. His dad said emotionally and intellectually he’s more like a 6- or 7-year-old.

“A lot of the times they don’t really understand what’s going on,” Stan Starr said.

So, the idea of flying somewhere can be a bit nerve-racking. But rather than risk an upset on a travel day, Alex and several other kids with disabilities have the chance to experience the airport without the pressure of actually flying.

“Seventy-plus percent of participants have never been on a flight and it’s exactly because of that. Because it’s such a stressful situation,” said Marcia Espinal, director of community engagement and advancement for The Arc of Texas.

This is the sixth time Wings For All has held the program in Houston and they know there’s a lot at the airport that can frighten these kids.

“The noises. Just you know, kind of that buzz. Smells. The tons of people around,” said Espinal.

“Having to actually sit and wait through security and like waiting at the airport,” said Starr.

But Alex makes it through with zero issues.

“So far, so good,” said Starr.

And at the gate, you can see the excitement in his eyes.

Responding to KPRC reporter Chip Brewster's question, "Is there anywhere that you would want to fly to?"

"California!" Alex said.

"Why?" Brewster asked.

"Disney World,” Alex said.

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