Mother films son's 'horrifying' TSA pat-down at US airport

A Texan woman has slammed airport security for putting her and her son through "hell" during a security screening.

Jennifer Williamson said her son, Aaron, passed through the detector without setting off any alarms before he was subjected to a thorough pat-down by a TSA agent.

"We were treated like dogs because I requested they attempt to screen him in other ways per TSA rules," she said in a Facebook post.

In the end he was detained for more than an hour, causing them to miss their flight.

Ms Williamson said Aaron has a sensory processing disorder (SPD) - a neurological disorder which "mixes up" sensory information being processed, according to the Star Institute for SPD.

It's often prevalent in people on the autism spectrum.

"He is still several hours later saying, 'I don't know what I did. What did I do?'," Ms Williamson said.

She slammed the TSA agent as "power tripping" and said he traumatised her son.

A number of people commenting on the Facebook post have raised concerns about the method of pat-down.

"That made me very uncomfortable watching. He didn't need to keep doing the same things so much and come on in it's quite obvious he isnt (sic) hiding anything! Did he really need to do all that," one woman wrote.

"I know he needs to search but that was excessive. He was going over areas again where he had been already," another person wrote, who claimed to have provided similar searches for 22 years.

It has also drawn ire from some who say it looked like "molestation".

The TSA told local media the boy's laptop set off an alarm and "all approved procedures were followed".

"The video shows a male TSA officer explaining the procedure to the passenger, who fully cooperates. Afterward, the TSA officer was instructed by his supervisor, who was observing, to complete the final step of the screening process," it said in a statement.

"In total, the pat-down took approximately two minutes, and was observed by the mother and two police officers who were called to mitigate the concerns of the mother.

"The passengers were at the checkpoint for approximately 45 minutes, which included the time it took to discuss screening procedures with the mother and to screen three carry-on items that required further inspection."