Getting TSA Pre-Check for my Non-Speaking, Developmentally Disabled Adult Child

Disneylvr

Always Disney Dreaming!
Joined
Aug 20, 1999
In the past, we have used TSA Cares which works wonderfully at our home airport but not at the TSA nightmare called MCO. We want to avoid the horrible experience if at all possible by getting our family of 3 TSA Pre-Checked. Has anyone been through the process with a non-verbal, autistic, developmentally disabled adult child? How do I prepare for the process? Asking TSA has been less than helpful.
 
Can’t respond regarding your disabled son specifically, but the process to get approved is quite easy. I’d imagine you’d sign up all three of you.

You’ll need to do an in person interview (which really is just an ID check) - I did mine at a Staples store that had a station so it’s pretty low key. I’m guessing you’ll need to bring your child but I bet you can take care of most things on their behalf. You get approved on the spot I believe and then you can start putting in the KTN (make sure you book tickets with your full name that matches your tsa pre check name).
 
We had the same experience with TSA Cares - fine at our home airport, but MCO never even contacted us on multiple trips despite us requesting it ahead of time. Precheck works a lot better in our experience.

We did Precheck for our 3 family members including DD who is a disabled adult.
They have more options of places to do it now than they did then, including many Staples stores.
It was easy. We were able to fill in all the information ahead of time and find out what documentation we needed. DD already had a state issued ID card, so she was positively identified with a photo ID.
Staples wasn't an option at that point. We had to go to a place that does fingerprinting and issues IDs for business and government. They sent the 3 of us together to a private room, which was nice. The person looked over all of our documents, but had very few questions. Then he took our fingerprints on an inkless digital pad and captured a photo with a tablet. My husband and I did it first, so DD had a chance to see how it was all worked.
I can't remember how fast they said it would be to receive the approval, but it was faster than they said
 
I hadn’t thought of this as an option but I’m going to try to get this for my family. I’ve been considering flying into Sanford because MCO is such a nightmare. Logistically, getting my adult autistic daughter (who’s is sometimes in her wheelchair and sometimes not, but we always travel with it) through TSA at MCO is by far the most stressful part of every trip.
 
I got it for my non verbal adult son with Autism and Down syndrome. It was fairly easy, except for the finger printing we had to to hold down each finger one by one, a bit awkwardly.
 
I got it for my non verbal adult son with Autism and Down syndrome. It was fairly easy, except for the finger printing we had to to hold down each finger one by one, a bit awkwardly.
I had to do that for my daughter too. Because of her Cerebral Palsy, she has some limitations in wrist rotation that made it a bit challenging
 
We have TSA precheck and the process of getting was pretty seamless. But, if you really hate the crowds at MCO, TPA runs pretty smoothly and it’s only a 90 minute drive or so if that is something your child can tolerate a drive that long. Also, if you have a Threads account, you can post this question on threads @tsa and they will answer.
 
TSA at MCO is by far the most stressful part of every trip.
Agreed! It’s a good way to end what was wonderful and fairly stressful WDW vacation.
Since we usually go every year, Pre-check is probably a good investment.
 
The TSA precheck application process was very easy and smooth. While I can't speak to the degree of need of your family member, I am autistic and went through the process by myself with no difficulties. I used a Staples location - it was quiet, no line, and the person in the cubicle in the back corner of the store set aside for pre-check was very relaxed, easy-going, and adaptable to people's needs. He answered all of my questions regarding process in the amount of detail I needed (which is usually a lot more than the average person). If possible, when doing the in-person fingerprinting/registration, I would highly recommend choosing a location that is more likely to have less people, even if it might not be the closest to you.

The pre-check has made a HUGE difference for me in traveling. Most airports, there is no wait, and I am through security within only a couple of minutes of arriving. Not needing to remove shoes/jackets/items from bags, etc. and then also using the normal metal detectors have all made a large difference.

Just a heads up - even with pre-check, MCO can still be a challenge. I had difficulty on one trip going through security when it was extreme crowded that day, and even the pre-check line was about 20 minutes. Then the metal detector randomly selected me for extra screening, which I wasn't expecting and didn't know the process for. I couldn't understand/process the TSA agent's instructions and he starting chatising me for not following correctly :/ I still made it through but something like this could be even more problematic for your family member as he/she has higher needs.
 
Once you make your plane reservations be sure make sure TSA pre is checked on your ticket!!! My very detailed husband accidentally put in my wrong DOB ( didn’t know this was the problem until I called) so I didn’t get it. But of course he saw it right away and I was able to call the airline correct it.
 
Global entry and get pre-check included.

Easy to do as stated above.

Check to see if your credit cards include the benefit too. Many do these days, like united card

Saves a lot of time and they tsa.person at the line tend to be much more understanding and patient and everyone in the line has already been prescreened so a much lower risk interaction. So you can typically step up with your child without getting redirection.
 
Once you make your plane reservations be sure make sure TSA pre is checked on your ticket!!! My very detailed husband accidentally put in my wrong DOB ( didn’t know this was the problem until I called) so I didn’t get it. But of course he saw it right away and I was able to call the airline correct it.
That happened to us. My daughter's Precheck number had one character incorrect. My husband and my tickets had Precheck on it; hers didn't. Because of her wheelchair, we check in at the airport, not online. We noticed it, but couldn't get it cottected. So, I went thru the Precheck line with as much stuff as I could and DH went thru the regular line with her.
Global entry and get pre-check included.

Easy to do as stated above.

Check to see if your credit cards include the benefit too. Many do these days, like united card

Saves a lot of time and they tsa.person at the line tend to be much more understanding and patient and everyone in the line has already been prescreened so a much lower risk interaction. So you can typically step up with your child without getting redirection.
Just an FYI to keep in mind.
Precheck only covers travel inside the US.
Global Entry also includes international travel, but you need a Passport to apply
 
We already have plane tickets for our next trip in October. I assume the PreCheck number can be added to our reservation? Our names already match our photo ID’s. DD has a state ID with her photo. We do not plane to travel internationally.

Thank you everyone! You have all been so helpful.
 
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We already have plane tickets for our next trip in October. I assume the PreCheck number can be added to our reservation? Our names already match our photo ID’s. DD has a state ID with her photo. We do not plane to travel internationally.

Thank you everyone! You have all been so helpful.
It does take some time to get, so apply online soon.

Yes, typically can add online at airline website with then reservation number. It's typically called the known traveler number.

You can add at the airport too at checkin too. Sometimes you have to wait about 5 minutes for the tsa server to update from the entry so if the line is very short it may error out. Happened to us once and our son didn't take it well with the error hitting his card scan and repeating it causing error. Tsa agent was cool about it and rolled with the error and sons ramping up....played it down and really helped the situation.
 
I have Pre-check (via global entry) and an autistic son for whom we [try to] use TSA Cares. Boy is that program hit or miss! SEA (our home airport) pre-check still can have lines & hassle that are too much for my son. I travel quite a bit and I’d say just a bit more than half of airports get me through quickly enough & hassle free enough to be something I’d do with my son. Also, airports will occasionally just not issue your pre-check even though you have it. It’s their right to do so and I’ve had to happen to me once. They would not reinstate it.

SO, what I guess I am trying to say is that I personally use pre-check more as something to fall back on if I’m traveling with my son and still try to book TSA cares service. If they just never contact me or no-show, I can just use the pre-check line if it looks doable. If not…I make the TSA agents run it up the ladder there at the airport to get us through security in a way that’s safe & respectful for my son.
 
Just an FYI to keep in mind.
Precheck only covers travel inside the US.
Global Entry also includes international travel, but you need a Passport to apply
No, not really. At least, not the implication that Global Entry provides the same/similar benefits in non-US airports that Precheck offers in US airports. Global entry has a completely different purpose to Precheck, though getting GE also gives you Precheck benefits.

Global Entry isn't relevant in most non-US airports*. It is relevant when returning from international travel and going through passport control and customs. Nothing to do with security in international airports (which aren't TSA).

*The exceptions are airports where there is pre-clearance for US passport control and customs where GE is a benefit (since, as noted, it is applicable to US passport control and customs). In some countries (the US pre-clearance) security and passport control/customs are connected, thus, there, having GE may be a benefit for airport security.

Some Canadian airports have introduced NEXUS security lines (which are similar to TSA Precheck lines) but not sure if GE gets you into them (GE doesn't get you access to NEXUS lanes/kiosks).
 
No, not really. At least, not the implication that Global Entry provides the same/similar benefits in non-US airports that Precheck offers in US airports. Global entry has a completely different purpose to Precheck, though getting GE also gives you Precheck benefits.

Global Entry isn't relevant in most non-US airports*. It is relevant when returning from international travel and going through passport control and customs. Nothing to do with security in international airports (which aren't TSA).

*The exceptions are airports where there is pre-clearance for US passport control and customs where GE is a benefit (since, as noted, it is applicable to US passport control and customs). In some countries (the US pre-clearance) security and passport control/customs are connected, thus, there, having GE may be a benefit for airport security.

Some Canadian airports have introduced NEXUS security lines (which are similar to TSA Precheck lines) but not sure if GE gets you into them (GE doesn't get you access to NEXUS lanes/kiosks).
Yes.
I was just giving a broad overview to let the OP know that Global Entry might not be pertinent to them if they were only traveling inside the US.
Also adding that they would need passports to apply for Global Entry, which adds another layer of application.
 
Yes.
I was just giving a broad overview to let the OP know that Global Entry might not be pertinent to them if they were only traveling inside the US.
Also adding that they would need passports to apply for Global Entry, which adds another layer of application.
Sorry that my mentioning of Global Entry (GE) derailed the thought processes here; just trying to help avoid multiple applications and save a few dollars as many credit cards will reimburse up to the cost of GE and can get that done and save.

Yes, if only domestic flying planned, TSA Precheck alone is sufficient and worthwhile to use -- we've renewed our GE twice over already :)
 
We have TSA precheck and the process of getting was pretty seamless. But, if you really hate the crowds at MCO, TPA runs pretty smoothly and it’s only a 90 minute drive or so if that is something your child can tolerate a drive that long. Also, if you have a Threads account, you can post this question on threads @tsa and they will answer.
They might also be able to start trip flying IN to MCO but return home via TPA or another airport, like Daytona. It varies by airline as to how easy it is.

There are multiple airports beyond TPA that could potentially work with possibly lower airfare. It depends where they are flying from though as to what the options are, esp to get direct flights.

I'm sure this has probably also been considered, but different times of day can also help when trying to avoid crowds. Flying on Tuesdays and Thursdays helps over more popular times.
 
















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