We probably were asking for trouble, but I think we lucked out in the end, in terms of how things worked.

Most of the time, dealing with a child with Autism and the occasional sensory issue, we take into account what we think he can handle.  This means one, maybe two activities, with trying to quiet things down between them to ensure that there aren’t problems…

And then there are the days where we massively throw the whole thing out the window and roll the dice.

So, for some strange reason, the universe decided that Sunday was the day to throw all the Autism events together, coupled with decent-length car rides between them.

R and Monster at Menucha bounce event, June 2016We started the day at a free bounce event with Menucha, an organization in the Jewish community here in Baltimore for children with special needs.  We seemed to be the only ones who showed up for the earliest block of time that they’d reserved, which meant that the Monster and R basically had the bounce houses to themselves for an hour… and I’d have thought that was awesome, if I were a kid at their ages with energy to burn.  I think that it wore thin with them, though, after about half an hour of play or so – it might just be that it’s more fun to do these things with other children around, or that it’s hard for R and the Monster to spend that much time interacting with just one another – though both of them got nicely active and sweaty before we had to head to the next event…

R and Monster on the train at the B&O Railroad Museum, June 2016Which was the Autism Society of Baltimore-Chesapeake‘s 40th birthday bash down at the B&O Railroad Museum.  Thanks to a grant from one of their sponsors (the Hussman Institute for Autism), we had free admission to one of the gems of our city, to go poke around at trains (with which R is somewhat obsessed at the moment) and mingle with other families who are dealing with the situation we’re buried in.  The day included lunch, cake, balloon animals, arts and crafts, face painting a free ride on the Mile One Express (which I’d never done before, remarkably), and… a resource fair with other local organizations and schools.  It was both fantastically fun and informative at the same time, and I’ll admit that even I came away with resources I didn’t know about previously.

(One of the things I did find myself discussing at numerous points at the ASBC bash was the matter of how we share resources as a community, both in terms of how the local groups work together and how we as parents spread awareness of what resources exist.  This is probably going to be a post of its own in the very near future, because it’s not a quick-fix situation, especially in an area that has such regional divides as the Baltimore metro area has.  It probably didn’t hurt – in terms of discussing it – that their resource fair ended up drawing in several of the groups whose resources we use ourselves on a regular basis, so I had folks who are of a similar mindset around me to yammer about it.)

The Monster and Ferrous, Ironbirds mascot, June 2016From the museum, we zipped home and then headed north to the Aberdeen Ironbirds for the annual night out with Pathfinders for Autism.  I’ll admit that I was kind of bummed that they weren’t wearing special jerseys and auctioning them off this year, but alas.  On the other hand, it was a lot of fun to have time to chat with other parents while we were watching the game, to enjoy a beer… and watch the Monster be himself, be it dancing to the music from the PA system, or interacting with Ferrous, one of the team mascots.  (On the last… seriously, check out my Instagram feed for a view – I’ll upload a better video to Facebook later today.)

The kids weren’t too difficult to rouse for camp on Monday morning.  I don’t know that I’d be inclined to pack this much fun into a single weekend day again in the near future, but… hey, whatever the universe throws at us…

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