Sunday, April 12th, Kings Dominion is hosting an Autism Awareness day. As a mother of a child on the spectrum this made my day. It is so nice to see venues that offer family entertainment actually embrace all of the needs of all of their visitors.
While we have never had to use an option like Kings Dominions "Boarding Pass" to access rides, it is SO important that families know they have that option, but more so for others to realize why a child that may "look" normal really needs it.
"Make your plans now to join us! Meet and Greet all day at Kings Dominion under the Eiffel Tower from 10 am-3 pm with the Autism Society of Central Virginia. ASCV will also have a welcome tent set up at the front gate with special Autism Awareness Day packets which will include:
A list of gluten free meal options at the park
A list of quiet areas located around the park
KD Kid Traker wristband
Volunteers will also be available to help set up a Ride Boarding Pass for guests who wish to ride rides. Please Click Here more information about Kings Dominion's Boarding Pass Program, specially designed for guests with mobility imparements or ASD . For more information about Kings Dominion's accommodations for all types of disabilities,Click Here. For additional information, questions, and to purchase tickets at a discounted rate, please visit ascv.org "
Personally, if a line is long, meaning we have to wait more than 20 or 30 minutes, we just skip that attraction for the day. While Matt has the patience to wait, the noise of the crowd around him and people accidentally touching him can quickly turn him to a downward spiral and the day loses any resemblance of fun.
I'm also really happy to see that they are providing earplugs.
Besides the fact that the general chatter noise of larger crowds can become too much for Matthew to bear, some events and rides at theme parks are trigger points too. Like the first time he experienced theme park fireworks, years ago at Epcot. We knew it would be a bit much for him and so we started to make our way towards the park exit. Before we could get there, Matthew had hit the ground, like a there was an incoming bomb, curling up and covering his ears.
We carried him out of their quickly and it was HUGE learning experience. We only watch fireworks from afar....very afar....now.
Many people don't realize how sensitive a "normal" looking child can be to sounds like these, and touching, and smells even.
I look forward to visiting Kings Dominion this Saturday with my family for the Debbie Ryan concert and Spring Bloom concert. Now I am going, a little more at ease, knowing that they truly do respect our needs as much as everyone else.