Autism and Amusement Parks
Saturday from 11:45 am to 10:00 pm we spent at our local Cedar Fair Amusement Park Michigan Adventures. My sisters family was also with us. My husband her husband and her oldest son Joey went to ride roller-coasters and Melissa and I took her three boys Collin, Bryan and Logan and my two Children Jade and Adrian to the water park.
The water park with five kids is a chore. My Adrian loves to wander and the Mommy I’m Hear Bear Locator is water resistant not water proof. I do not have to worry about Jade wandering. She knows the rules and follows them well. Adrian on the other hand is impulsive by nature and when he sees something he wants nothing and no one will stop him. This is how I ended up on the third story of a water park slide party.
There are many different slides built into one building. The biggest slide is a huge yellow one on the fourth story. Adrian was determined to use that slide. I had told him he was only allowed to ride on the second biggest slide a pink one. I also alerted the person in charge of that slide that Adrian is autistic and if she should see him wander to please let me know. She tried to stop him from leaving the pink slide but he was too quick. I found him by hauling butt and brushing past people. Then I had to wait because Adrian who is also afraid of heights had a meltdown and refused to move. Picking him up and carrying him during is a risky move. He hits, kicks and screams. He has also bit me in the face during a meltdown. I calmly explained to people that I could not move so they should just go past me. Adrian’s meltdown passed and we were able to get off and he had a time out. This was the biggest meltdown but not the last.
Saturday was a success in many ways. This is the first time we have attempted a trip like this in years. I was not planning on staying all day but Adrian was enjoying himself and surprisingly did not have too much difficulty. If we had gone last year we probably wouldn’t have made it there for three hours without having to leave. Proof of the progress he has made this year and the progress he can and will continue to make!!! I seem to be much better equipped now than I ever was before to help him deal with things as they happen. So what if we look odd taking a time out so he can self regulate and soothe, so what if I appear to be the only mother who rocks her kid while he screams (yeah that happened too), so what if my child feels the need to take a break when ever other kid is content to just be playing. There have been far too many times where I have been concerned with people staring to count but if people were starring Saturday I never saw them or realized it.
Our trip not only showed Adrian’s progress which has been way more than I have time to write about here. But also how I have grown as a parent. Not so concerned with every one else like I was at the beginning. Mostly for my son who would cover his eyes when people stared at him, but also for myself because these people were invading our space and making me feel like a horrible parent who didn’t have it together. Adrian has taught me not to care so much about what others think! He truly is helping to teach me as much as I am learning through what I read and research if not more. I learn more every day. Adrian and I will continue to learn for as long as possible!!!