Sunday, July 28, 2013

We Built This City

Pervasive Parenting
By Kodey Toney

We Built This City

This week the family packed up for a long overdue trip to Kansas City to visit family. We've taken this trip before, but it had been two years since we had been there last. While there we decided to visit a couple places we had not been before, and I thought I would share one of those experiences with you. 
One of our first stops was Legoland Discovery Center. This is great place with a couple small rides, tons of Legos to play with, and a 4D movie. The boys really enjoyed the place, and considering the 90-plus degrees outside we all enjoyed the air conditioning. 
All of this is crammed into a relatively small space though, and that combined with a large number of people was a recipe for overstimulation. 
We decided to watch the movie, which was okay, but Konner has never really like the 3D glasses and things jumping out of the screen at him. This was no different, and every time something seemed to jut out at him he screamed and kicked. He got pretty uneasy until he finally just took the glasses off. The mist of water and wind blowing on him didn't really help matters much. 
We decided to let him go into the play area to work off some of that anxiety. It helped some, but it was full of kids too. 
We moved on to an area where kids could create vehicles and race them on a track with others. The area included several bowls of Lego parts that you could mix and match to make the perfect car. The problem was that there is no order to where the parts were. Konner couldn't find the parts he was looking for, and some boys were picking through the same bowl as him. This is when he started screaming. 
Now this wasn't the worst meltdown we've ever had, but it was loud. He kept screaming and Jen kept calming him. After what seemed like a long time, but was actually only about five minutes, she finally convinced him to move to a different area where we decided to eat. This did little to calm him because he just kept thinking about what he was doing and that he didn't get to finish. 
One thing about Konner, and I assume many on the spectrum, is that once they begin a task they want to finish it. If they are disrupted it can cause meltdowns.
We saw this early last school year when he had centers where students get a certain amount of time before they have to love to another area. If he wasn't done in the one are he would get upset or have to finish what he was doing. 
We convinced him to leave and promised to by a Lego set so he could build his own race car. 
This was really the only major issue we had, and a visit to the aquarium next seemed to help calm him. 
The moral is this: crowds, noise, and daunting tasks are not a good combination on vacation.

Sent from my iPhone

No comments:

Post a Comment