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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

What if?

Posted by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 12:22 AM
  • 23 Replies

Bugga has been begging to go to an amusement park for six months now. Last summer we went to the Oakland zoo and he rode a small roller coaster there over and over again, giggling and laughing and talking to everyone in his vicinity the entire time. Now he wants to try bigger roller coasters. 

My Christmas present for him this year is a day at Knotts Berry Farm, just the two of us. I've planned it out as well as possible. I'm bringing his new Kindle for the long car ride and my iPhone for when he has to wait in line. I'm getting a locker and storing a backpack with extra clothes (he hasn't wet his pants in a long time, but he used to do it when he was startled or scared, I figured just in case...), snacks, and such. I'm bringing ear plugs in case the park is too noisy for him and I think we might even grab some sunglasses in case it is too bright (he doesn't own a pair since he breaks them almost immediately :P). 

I've printed a map out and I'm letting Bugga plan what rides we will go on and where we will eat lunch, though I will try my best to steer him away from the bigger rides if I don't think he's ready for them. We're leaving the park at 5 to meet the rest of the family at Medieval Times, which is right down the street, for a fun dinner (but rowdy, I'm thinking the ear plugs will come in handy here). 

This all seemed like such a great idea when I bought the non refundable tickets back in November, but as Saturday looms closer all the "what ifs" swarm inside my head.

"What if it's just too much for him?"

"What if he gets scared on the first ride and refuses to ride any others?"

"What if he wants to go home?"

"What if I'm pushing him too far?"

But then I can't help but wonder if I'm setting myself up for failure by expecting it. Bugga is SO excited but I can tell he's nervous too. He made a comment today about how he'd probably be sick on Sunday from riding too many roller coasters. I don't think I can back out now, I think he'd be devistated, but I'm not sure how to convince HIM that he doesn't have to push himself too far. It's going to be a long enough day as it is, without him feeling like he has to prove something by riding as many scary coasters as possible. Advice?

by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 12:22 AM
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Replies (1-10):
HippoCat
by Hadley on Jan. 10, 2014 at 12:47 AM
2 moms liked this

Oh, it sounds like you will have a BLAST! You have done an excellent job planning it and I think it sounds perfect. I wouldn't stress about the "what ifs", just know they might be a possibility and you might have to change your plans a bit if they happen. I really think you will have a wonderful time though. If he overdoes it on one very special day and pushes himself a little hard, so be it. It's a great learning experience either way. 

ineedcoffeemom
by Brittaney on Jan. 10, 2014 at 1:04 AM
1 mom liked this

I would definitely go. He sounds like he really wants to do this, even if he is nervous. I would just tell him that you're looking forward to a fun day of just the two of you, no matter what you actually do. Whether you rides all the rides or don't ride a single one. It will be so much fun just walking around, taking in the scenery because you'll be doing that with him. And that's all that matters to you.

When you get there I'd suggest you get him to go on a real small ride. Tell him it's a practice ride to see if his body is up for doing any big roller coasters. Everybody has days where we don't feel up to doing things that other days we'd have no problem doing. Tell him that and let him know that ya'll will let his body decide when you've had enough .... and it doesn't matter to you whether that's 10 rides later or 2.

johnns
by Johnna on Jan. 10, 2014 at 8:17 AM
1 mom liked this
When it comes to our kiddos, worse thing is we leave. Its money wasted, but we know this going on any new adventure.
Sounds like you have things covered.
Go for it!
Leaving with a meltdown is probably the worst it can get.
Are you able to handle him alone should he go into a physical fit?
Sounds fun! Good luck!
AspieAuntie
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 9:16 AM

Thanks, I've tried to plan for all contingencies, but I know with Bugga that's impossible, lol. I just want him to have fun whether that means we ride a bunch of rides or just hang out in the arcade area. Thanks again for the support :)

Quoting HippoCat:

Oh, it sounds like you will have a BLAST! You have done an excellent job planning it and I think it sounds perfect. I wouldn't stress about the "what ifs", just know they might be a possibility and you might have to change your plans a bit if they happen. I really think you will have a wonderful time though. If he overdoes it on one very special day and pushes himself a little hard, so be it. It's a great learning experience either way. 


AspieAuntie
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 9:18 AM

The practice ride is a great idea! I will definitely try that to help him get a feel for things. My fear is that he will try to jump right in to the bigger rides and get a shock. But you're right, I couldn't care less how many rides we ride, I just want him to have fun! 

Quoting ineedcoffeemom:

I would definitely go. He sounds like he really wants to do this, even if he is nervous. I would just tell him that you're looking forward to a fun day of just the two of you, no matter what you actually do. Whether you rides all the rides or don't ride a single one. It will be so much fun just walking around, taking in the scenery because you'll be doing that with him. And that's all that matters to you.

When you get there I'd suggest you get him to go on a real small ride. Tell him it's a practice ride to see if his body is up for doing any big roller coasters. Everybody has days where we don't feel up to doing things that other days we'd have no problem doing. Tell him that and let him know that ya'll will let his body decide when you've had enough .... and it doesn't matter to you whether that's 10 rides later or 2.


AspieAuntie
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 9:22 AM

Yeah, I knew when I bought the tix that there was a possibility that we would have to leave early so I'm not too worried about wasting money. I'm more worried about my happy little Christmas present turning into a meltdown, to be honest. Bugga rarely goes into a physical fit and when he does he is always in the comfort of home (something about feeling comfortable and safe enough to let go there) so I'm not really worried about that. But a defiant meltdown, yeah that could be a major factor. I'll have to pack my patience with me!

Quoting johnns: When it comes to our kiddos, worse thing is we leave. Its money wasted, but we know this going on any new adventure.
Sounds like you have things covered.
Go for it!
Leaving with a meltdown is probably the worst it can get.
Are you able to handle him alone should he go into a physical fit?
Sounds fun! Good luck!


mamalena137
by Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 11:43 AM
2 moms liked this

It sounds like you're ready for a great day. Don't stress too much about the what ifs. If it seems like he's pushing himself too hard, divert him with things like "mom needs a break, or mom's not ready for that." I think if you make it about yourself (lying) it will ease him a bit, he won't feel like you're trying to curtail him. Just have fun mom. In the end it seems like these kids have more in them then even they know.

AspieAuntie
by on Jan. 10, 2014 at 11:46 AM

Ooh, great idea! I know if he thinks I'm doubting his ability to do something he'll just dig his heels in and push harder, but if he thinks I can't do it...he's pretty sympathetic about that kind of stuff, that just might work! Thanks for the advice! :)

Quoting mamalena137:

It sounds like you're ready for a great day. Don't stress too much about the what ifs. If it seems like he's pushing himself too hard, divert him with things like "mom needs a break, or mom's not ready for that." I think if you make it about yourself (lying) it will ease him a bit, he won't feel like you're trying to curtail him. Just have fun mom. In the end it seems like these kids have more in them then even they know.


SamMom912
by Gold Member on Jan. 10, 2014 at 1:00 PM
1 mom liked this

Maybe you can plan what will happen IF he gets a little overwhelmed.. Have an "exit" strategy.. (And I dont mean leaving the park exit) i mean finding a quiet corner to sit and relax for a few (having him facing away from the choas) getting a cold drink, and just "being" . Plan on asking him after every ride if this might be a good time to rest.. Or if he is readu for the next one... After 2 rides maybe say YOUR tired, YOU need a rest.. Could he sit with YOU to rest up for the next.. And then rest for a few so his internal engine has a chance to cool down... 

You KNOW him.. Youll watch for signs of stress and anxiety.. I have a feeling he will do GREAT! It sounds like you have ALL your ducks in a row... Youve done great planning. 

I kight also checkin with guest services, like at Disney. They may have a helpful idea of how to manage thru the park. At isney they use to let kids with issues wait in shorter lines..I know thats changed recently.. But they still help. guest services may be worth a phne call in advance. 

Awesome gift! :) 

JTMOM422
by Brenda on Jan. 10, 2014 at 1:48 PM
1 mom liked this

This sounds like a great idea. You have planned and thought things through. If it turns out to be too much you could always leave. I say expect the best but be prepared for the worst. I don't think he will have issues though. You sound like you have thought it through 

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