Great America Will Hold "Autism Awareness Day"
I've mentioned before about how sometimes it is tricky to go "out in public" with a child who falls on the autistic spectrum. I was glad to hear about how T.G.I.Friday's had sponsored an "Autism Night" in their restaurants (thanks to Alexandra Abend, sister of an autistic boy.)
Well, now we can thank the Cedar Fair organization for bringing a "safe day" to Santa Clara!
September 29th will be "Autism Awareness Day" at Great America. (It turns out it is also "Deaf Awareness Day:" more thoughts on that later.) From their website:
This is a special day for the autistic community to enjoy the thrills that Great America has to offer. There will be autism support organization booths throughout the park, as well as an all-you-can-eat picnic.
Unfortunately, the deadline for mail-in registration has passed; however, online tickets will be accepted through September 22.
Kudos to Great America for setting up this opportunity!
A few things about the brochure made me laugh and/or do a double-take:
First: The description boasts, "A great opportunity to gather with the autistic community!" Hmmmm. This really isn't a social club. In fact, it is an anti-social club ba-ba-BUM! (Thank you very much, I'll be playing this club all night.)
Truthfully, I am less interested in "meeting people" during such an event as I am having a "normal" family outing where I know that if my son starts to shriek in fear that another parent isn't going to roll her eyes. Or if my son starts to make funny noises or get too close to someone, that another parent isn't going to reprimand me or stare daggers.
Second: A profiled event is the "Nickelodeon Celebration Parade," which includes "a cast of nearly 100 performers and seven colorful, interactive floats." Apparently, this event is 30 minutes. Frankly, I am not sure that such a large display should last that long, lest the sensitive kids become overwhelmed. Of course, their parents know best what they can handle, but if I had been in charge of Autism Day, I would have focused on smaller group opportunities to "meet" the Nickelodeon characters, away from lights and music.Continued on the next page