Trip to Wonderful

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Cautionary Tales

Um, hi! [waving tentatively] I'm the mother of a girl on the spectrum and longtime cyberbud of MB. I thought for my maiden post I could function as a horrible warning. My daughter is somewhere in the HFA/PDD/Asperger's range. As one evaluator so clinically put it, she has a "prominent rigid personality." Mommy is fairly ADD, which means planning ahead? Not my strong point. We'd pick some sort of family destination--Hershey Park, say. This is a largish place, if you haven't been, full of opportunities for sensory overload. My daughter's poison of choice was merry-go-rounds.* Like many autistic kids, she likes the sensation of spinning. And like many girls with Asperger's, she loves animals, especially horses. Hershey Park was fairly accommodating about the bracelets for people with disabilities: I do remember having to walk somewhere deep into the park to go to the relevant office with my antsy five-year-old, and then I had a very short discussion with a total stranger about my kid's diagnosis, and then we were given the Magic Bracelet,** which meant we didn't have to wait on line and (very important) didn't have to get off the preferred ride. Which we went on over and over and over. And over. And. Over. As in, for the first day we were there, it was the only ride we went on. I'm remembering that on the second day we were able to get her to try another ride (it must have had animals to sit in, or painted on the side), but pretty much that vacation I just stood there watching her, like Phoebe and Holden, except not.

She's grown, we've grown: now she is much more open to different activities. We've done best on vacations that have structured programs for kids: we're in New York, so we've done our tour of resorts upstate that have camps. They have structure and variety and they bring her together with other kids, and my daughter does much, much better with structure. Bonus: it also means the spousal unit and I get to have a bit of time to ourselves. I take a lot of naps on those vacations.

*I used to know a lot about various parks and zoos in the LI area that had merry-go-rounds.

**I'm going to skip, for now, my musings about wearing those bracelets and suddenly having physical evidence of an invisible disability.

14 Comments:

  • Hey, Em, you made it (and just in time for us to move to the New and Improved TtW ;-D).

    I have to say I've been thinking about a post on those bracelets, though, from our experience at Sesame Street where merely having one on you child induced belligerence from parents of seemingly NT kids. Maybe that's a x-posting to Wampum.

    By Blogger MB, at 11:23 AM  

  • Moving?

    By Blogger Moi ;), at 3:30 PM  

  • BTW I thought Hershey was good for our kids. I don't particularly like amusement parks, they're my ex's thing, so he takes him to them. (YAY!)

    Anyway I hear you about not being able to plan - my problem is not ADD, but being OBTMS (overwhelmed by too much sheet)....I try, but...lol

    Do any of you belong to Variety Club? They give out freebie days at places like Sesame Place all the time....

    By Blogger Moi ;), at 3:32 PM  

  • Not a member of the Variety Club, but as I posted a while back, Sesame Place does participate in its parent company, Busch Garden's, two-for-one program for special needs kids.

    My kids love amusement parks, but I can see Jonah spending the entire day on "It's a Small World" when we make it to Disney in the Fall.

    And yes, TtW is moving to our server, under it's own name (triptowonderful.org). Should happen sometime over the next week, as I get the new page looking presentable and get Em up to speed on Word Press (much easier than Blogger, btw.)

    By Blogger MB, at 5:00 PM  

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