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Unaccompanied Autistic Minor Befriended on Flight, Mom Relieved

Alexa Bjornson and her son Landon had made the plane trip several times, from Las Vegas to Portland to visit Landon’s father. It had become an annual tradition. But this time, Bjornson was sending Landon to fly solo … and she was nervous.

Alexa knows that Landon, who is on the autistic spectrum, could sometimes be perceived as an annoyance from other travelers. So, she sent Landon with a goodwill gesture – a note asking for kindness toward her son, $10 for any potential inconvenience, and her cell phone number.

After the flight touched down in Portland, Bjornson received a text message from Landon’s seatmate, passenger Ben Pedraza. "I was Landon's seat neighbor for his flight to Portland," Pedraza wrote to Bjornson, along with a selfie of himself posing with Landon. "He did ask if we were there yet several times but he was a great travel buddy. He's a great kid and you're a lucky mom." Pedraza also told Bjornson that he would be donating the $10 to Autism-Society.org, in honor of Landon.

“I was so relieved,” said Bjornson, in a Facebook post that was shared over 130,000 times. "There are good humans on the planet that make him feel like it's OK to be himself and not make him feel like an annoyance." While in Oregon, Bjornson said that Landon and his dad planned to share a meal with Pedraza and his family.

Preaching angles: The true measure of our discipleship is not how well we do in times of comfort and convenience, but in times of discomfort and inconvenience. Even small acts of kindness can radiate outward when done with a sincere heart and a desire for connection.

Source: Nicole Pelletiere, “Mom thanks passenger who befriended 7-year-old son with autism during flight” Good Morning America.com (7-2-19)

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