Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Conquering fears

Last summer when my Dad came to visit we went to Park City and decided to give the Alpine Coaster a try.  We thought Max would love it because it is a car/train that you get to ride in.  Little did we know that after waiting in a line for 90 minutes Max would panic once it was his turn for a ride.  You can read about that experience here

This past weekend was a whole different story.  My dad came to visit and we again went to Park City to see if Max would try the Alpine slide and then the Alpine Coaster.  We had no expectations, we just knew once he got on he would love the whole experience.  His brother Dexter is a dare devil and we knew he would want to ride everything also. 

We went on a weekday and during school hours so the park wasn't crowded.  We did the Alpine Slide first.  We road the ski lifts up to the top of the mountain.  Max did GREAT on the ski lift.  He was excited and kept saying "so high" and "look train!"

The Alpine Slide was a huge hit.  I think I was more nervous than Max was.  He sang "Mickey Mouse Road Rally" the whole way down at the top of his lungs.  Will and I were singing along and cracking up. Max was so happy and had no care in the world.  It was awesome!
When we got to the bottom Max immediately wanted to "do it again!" This time we bought tickets for the Alpine Coaster.  This was the same ride that last year he was scared and didn't want ride.  The line was short.  It was only about a 30 minute wait.  When we got to the front of the line we asked Max what color car he wanted to sit in.  He said blue.  Then we asked who he wanted to ride with?  He said "Ride with Poppi!"  I had tears in my eyes, I was so proud of him.  We all rode the coaster, and the whole time my dad said Max was saying "Poppi go faster!"  When the ride was done he screamed "That was AMAZING!"  I didn't even know he knew that word. 

I realize that him being scared is more of an age thing rather than an Autism issue.  I know that being scared is a normal life feeling.  But the fact that he is feeling is what makes this whole event so special.  He is recognizing his own feelings.  He knows when he is excited, happy, and scared and more importantly can express these feelings.  Expressive language is something that children on the autism spectrum really struggle with.  They need to be taught how to appropriately express feelings and not just tantrum or scream.  Max made me so proud this past weekend.  And I can't wait to ride the coaster again!

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