It’s not often we do family days out, I’m talking about the ones you need to plan in advance, book tickets and often part with quite a sum of money. Trips to theme parks, the theatre, cinema and the zoo for example are often off limits.
There are so many variables that we can’t predict for these days, like how busy will it be? Will there be changing facilities? How will we travel around? What happens if the weather is bad…or too hot? What if there are huge queues, can we skip them? Are we tied in to a specific date and time? What if we have a terrible nights sleep before? Of course, these are probably the sort of things that everybody thinks. The difference is that for most people all of these things are manageable. For someone with autism like our four year old, any one of these things can quite literally ruin his day. I’m not talking about putting him in a bit of a grump, I’m talking about a meltdown and days to regulate afterwards.
Sometimes it’s just easier not to bother than to give it a go and see how it goes. I’m to blame for that. Pick you’re battles and all that jazz, and quite frankly sometimes I don’t want to upset the apple cart. It’s stressful for everyone when things don’t go to plan, none moreso than for our son, although in the midst of him lying on the floor and refusing to move it can be difficult to remember that he is the one that is struggling.
Our son starting school has been a huge turning point, they take him to lots of places and they manage. I have yet to receive a report where he hasn’t coped in any environment they have put him in….further evidence that it is me holding him back! Soooo, in a bid to make this year filled with lots of fun, I have put my big girl pants on and booked some exciting things to do. So far we have the following things in the diary:
- In The Night Garden Live
- Bing Live
- Justin’s Band
- A few days away
When booking tickets for In The Night Garden Live there was a box to fill in if you had any special requirements. Already feeling a bit nervous about having to queue to get in and then getting stuck in the middle of a row, I suggested that we would appreciate fast track entry and an aisle seat in case we needed to make a sharp exit. Quite honestly, it’s something I didn’t think they would honour as in my experience with other things there is a real lack of empathy and understanding of autism and how small adjustments can make a huge difference to families like ours. Fast forward just 24 hours and I got a reply. I want to paraphrase but I can’t as it was an amazing response. So here it is in all its beautiful glory:
…We’d like to do what we can to make your day as easy and enjoyable as possible. Normally seating is unreserved, but I can reserve you space in the front row of Standard, on the edge of the aisle if this interests you?
We find others who are on the autistic spectrum benefit from the front row of Standard as the row is a little bigger than other rows, giving you a bit more breathing room. We also find that as the first row of Standard is the 6th row overall, this helps individuals with sensory overload concerns, as in this area they have a clear view of the show without it being too overwhelming. Please be aware that the atmosphere is very relaxed and you are free to leave and return to your seats at any point during the performance if you need to. There is even an area behind the seating stands with a live feed of the show on some screens, if you want to continue watching the show from a further distance.
I have already arranged a queue jump so you do not have to queue amongst the crowds. When you arrive at the Showdome, please speak to a member of staff and they will take you directly to your reserved seats.
Everyone is different so please let me know if the above suits you and your needs and I will pop it through for you.
Faith in humanity well and truly restored. I was choked reading the email.
So this year we are making memories. Good memories and I can’t wait. I reckon our son will be pretty excited once he knows he’s going to see some of his faves too!
Now….just to put a call in to a couple of his other favourites, namely Coldplay and George Ezra to see if they can sort something equally as amazing for him too, hehe!