Facebook | Lori Gabriel

Plane Passengers And Crew Befriended Boy With Autism During Mid-Flight Meltdown

One mom has taken to Facebook to extend her gratitude towards the United Airlines crew and passengers accommodating her son with autism after he had an unexpected mid-flight meltdown, Fox News reported.

Lori Gabriel shared that her 4-year-old son, Braysen, is normally an easy flyer, but became distressed and uncomfortable during their flight home from a family vacation.

"Trying to get him to stay seated was impossible."

Facebook | Lori Gabriel

In her Facebook post, Gabriel shared that her son kept wanting to sit on the floor and refused to stay in his seat, even as the airplane prepared for takeoff.

"We were trying to get him back into his chair and get his seat belt back on, and that's when he had his meltdown and started kicking, screaming, and hitting," Gabriel told Fox News.

A flight attendant told her the plane couldn't take off until the boy was seated, to which Gabriel replied that he's autistic.

Unsplash | Tim Gouw

She said she was worried that they would be kicked off the flight, "since he wouldn't sit down and I would have understood that because it's a safety issue."

However, the attendant was "so nice" and actually allowed Gabriel to keep Braysen on her lap during takeoff.

Unfortunately, the boy's meltdown continued even after the plane had ascended into the air.

Facebook | Lori Gabriel

Once the seat belt sign had been turned off, Braysen slid from his mom's lap and refused to get up off the floor.

"I just couldn't hold him anymore because he was fighting me the entire time," Gabriel said.

Although she was worried about him disrupting the other passengers and crew on the flight, Gabriel found everyone to be very accommodating.

Facebook | Lori Gabriel

While he was on the ground, Braysen began kicking at the feet of an off-duty flight attendant sitting near the family. However, she told his apologetic mom that it wasn't a problem.

Even when Braysen found his way up to first-class and began "messing" with a man's seat, he was met with only the upmost kindness. The man introduced himself to the boy and offered him plenty of high-fives.

Gabriel said the flight crew even allowed the restless Braysen to sit wherever he wanted.

Unsplash | Suhyeon Choi

"Huge thank you to United Airlines," she wrote on Facebook. "They accommodated his needs, made sure we were all OK, worked around where he [chose] to sit."

She added that the flight attendants "couldn't have done a better job."

United Airlines even tweeted a response to Gabriel's post, saying that they "look forward to seeing Braysen again soon!"

Facebook | Lori Gabriel

"It sure sounds like Braysen and your family had a great flight," the airlines wrote. "We are happy that our crew was able to make it an enjoyable experience. We are overjoyed to see that we have such loving and supportive passengers on board as well!"

At the end of the flight, Gabriel was handed a note from a woman sitting near her and Braysen.

Facebook | Lori Gabriel

"I commend you for your strength," the note reads. "Do not EVER let anyone make you feel as though you are an inconvenience or a burden. He is a blessing."

She continued, "God bless your patience, your love, your support, and your strength. Continue to be Superwoman and know you and your family are loved and supported."

"You may not know how much that means to us when we feel defeated," Gabriel wrote in response to the note. "Thank you for helping and being kind."

h/t: Fox News

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