July 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm in INFORUM
Knowing the Red River Valley Fair was dedicating a day to those with special needs this year, Kate Dahl wasn’t sure what to expect.
Tags: Fair, Red River Valley Fair, special needs 58 Comments »
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Are you kidding me?? I just wrote this huge statement and just because I didn’t see the terms and conditions box that needed checked I lost everything I wrote once I went back to click it??? Oh noway!! FIX THAT!! Box checked on this one!!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 12 55
In short, vs the longer version I just wrote and lost, haha I do not think the fair should discontinue the special needs day just because of a few people with unreasonable expectations. It’s a very giving and kind thing to offer and I am sure most of the people really appreciated it and the ones with unreasonable expectations probably weren’t thinking in a business sense or with much gratitude either, sorry and sad to say.
It does seem as if there was a large turn out of the special needs children for the day and I would guess that if that large of a group of parents got together on this, they could probably start a thing where a much smaller type carnival with an appropriate set up and appropriate rides could be set up and they could have a day or 2 just for the special needs children. I think a lot of people would be happy to chip in for the cause. Just an idea.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 33 10
It took years for the Anderson/Olson era to drag the fair to the bottom. The fair is now going in the right direction under Mr. Schultz and this issue is just one of the steps that needs to be addressed along the way.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 7
I don’t want to sound unsympathetic, as raising a special needs child is difficult. But I’m not sure why people would expect the fair to basically shut down and cater just to them. That’s unrealistic and isn’t going to happen.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 72 14
I agree with Pete!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 28 6
As the Mom of a kid with special needs, I think it’s too much to ask for exclusive time for free. Free rides are wonderful, but IMO, the money could be better spent on making some of the rides more accessible to those with physical limitations.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 62 8
I do not expect the fair to shut down and “cater” to my child, nor do I expect anything for free. What I was trying to get across is although the Special Needs Day is a gracious thing to do, there are things that need fine tuning that I believe will make it a better experience for more people. I DO understand it is a business, and I DO understand there is a bottom line to watch, but I also understand that to educate people as to what “special needs” encompassess is something that needs to happen – not only at the fair, but everywhere. A neurological disorder, such as Autism and Aspergers, are disorders that are commonly overlooked because they are misunderstood and people are just uneducated about them. I know I was until my daughter was diagnosed. This Day is only 2 years in the making. I hope to be able to work with the fair to see if what will make it a grander experience for my daughter can become a reality. Again, I do not expect to be catered to or expect anything for free – I expect people to be aware, be empathic, and be educated about everything that is blanketed under the definition of “Special Needs” Thank you.
Hot debate. What do you think? 21 25
If you don’t want to be catered to, as in limiting the crowds, and you don’t want anything for free, just what exactly do you want from the fair that they are capable of delivering?
Maybe I’m missing something, and if I am please elaborate, but I don’t understand your complaint.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 32 9
The direct quote was, “basically shut down and cater just to them”. I do not expect that. They provided that when they initiated Special Needs Day.
Then it was changed to, “limiting the crowds”. That is what expected when you make a day tailored down to fit a specific group.
I do not expect anything for free. That was offered to me, and I took advantage of it.
What I want is to work with them and apparently you to educate and inform exactly what a special need is for a child with a neurological disorder.
I believe with a few tweaks, the fair can make those adjustments for next year, thus providing a true Special Needs Day for us all.
Ultimately, I want my daughter to live a full and complete life……just like any other mother would.
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OK…but you still aren’t telling us what these “tweaks” and “adjustments” should be, other than limiting crowds. I don’t see how that can really be done without basically shutting down the fair to everybody else.
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Pete, I will answer you as what I think the adjustments should be. Children with autism do not know waiting. It is not something that can be taught. And extreme sensory overload is common as well. Loud music and large crowds (laughing/screaming, etc) hurts their ears. Even lights. But most of them are thrilled by the sensation of rides. It helps there proprioceptive input and those sensory issues. One hour at the fair calms my son for all day and stops some of his stimming behaviors, and gives him a chance to enjoy things other children can. If they canâ€™t have two hours or even an hour of a nine day fair for special needs community (ALL special needs) that is sad. The worst part of this is that they combined kids day so there was extra children and daycares all over the place. But the other problem is the organization. We need to be able to get in, get out. It doesnâ€™t work any other way. This is not me spoiling or coddling my child, this is the way autism IS! Walking around not knowing where to check in, some fair employees were unaware if was even special needs day, and they need a brief training (which any of us would be willing to provide) letting the carnival works know about yelling, or loud music, etc., sensory issues that send our kids into a tailspin. If people think â€special needsâ€ is just physical disabilites, they do not understand. You put on a required registration form advertised all over Fargo, â€Special Needs Dayâ€ and then get no direction, a free ticket, and it states 11-1, and during that time there are no rides goingâ€¦?? You tell me what is wrong with this picture. Think about it from my perspective. My child sees the rides and that is it, he is deadlocked on doing this, there is no time for wandering around finding the check in, and then have the employees say, just go in. The confusion, and disorganization should be remedied first. If they do not want to offer an hour or two (by the way, we would be willing to pay for), then offer a fast pass so we can skip the lines, and do not overcrowd the place by combining kids day just to make $. Tell me what was â€special needs DAYâ€ besides the (generous) free ticket?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 22 6
Now I’m confused. The article said Kate’s daughter went on two rides. You say they weren’t running.
The confusion and disorganization is a valid complaint. But I don’t think a “fast pass” would go over too well as that would create resentment in the other kids and parents. Even asking for an hour is asking quite a bit. Look at how much ride tickets cost and how many kids ride them in one hour. If you could get a local business to help sponser that you may have a better chance at success.
For what it’s worth, when we were there on Sunday evening, most lines in the kids section didn’t require waiting.
Like or Dislike: 11 12
Good question. I think it is the waiting in line. However, should the fair just have a day just for people with special needs? I do not think that would be very good proposition.
This might sound cruel, however, life just does not work this way. Maybe, waiting in line will make these children realise that this is how the real world works. It is a good lesson for them to learn.
It’s great that the fair is doing this for the special needs people and children. However, no one wants to be different, they want to be treated just like the next person. Giving them a get out of jail free card, or go to the front of the line pass, only will teach them not to learn to live with their disability and expect to be treated different.
I have been disabled for a long time, and I never expect to be placed in the front of the line. I feel that I am just like the rest of the people, which I believe only makes me a better and stronger person.
Hot debate. What do you think? 25 21
If you really think that making these kids wait in line will “teach them a lesson”, then I believe you need to brush up on your education of what Autism is.
Hot debate. What do you think? 22 18
(logged in as my son, as my pc isn’t working), I am a mom with an son with autism. You apparently don’t understand that they will never get the concept of lines. This does NOT make them stronger. My son doesn’t speak. He will never understand expectations of being treated differently. Autism does not expect, or judge, discriminate. One of the limitations of kids with neurological disorders that is different than physical disorders is that they cannot be around crowds (it is NOT just autism, it is sensory integration disorder, and several others as well). Does that mean my son should not go to the fair, or be “taught a lesson”? Shame on you for thinking that could make him a better person. No one asked for a special DAY, I would take one HOUR of time that he doesn’t have to look at me with terror or fear and I have to look back through tears knowing he doesn’t understand. He just wants to ride the rides. Should he be denied that because he can’t learn to wait in line? It is not something that can be taught. Please educate yourself on neurological disorders!
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 29 11
Amen Luke’s Mom!!! I couldn’t haven’t said it better myself!
Hot debate. What do you think? 20 10
I believe I have learned a lot by the earlier posts from Moms with children that have autism. Thank you for educating me. I guess I was referring to physical disability needs and did not think about other needs. My sincere apologies.
Yes, there is so many things to learn about autism, I know some people with this disease, but never met anyone as bad as your son, mother of Luke Hillerson. My nephew has autism, however, he can do almost as much as any other child. This is probably why
I did not realize how bad this disease can be.
Thank you for sharing your sons needs. I am sure more people will try to understand, that there are so many more disabilities other than physical ones.
God Bless you and your son.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 19 3
The only people that need to “educate” themselves regarding “special needs” are the people who parent the children. I fail to understand why the parents of these kids are preaching that everyone else needs to learn about their children. It’s just simply not true. I also wonder what the additional liability issues would be for the owners of the fair to invite a group of people not mentally or physically, in some cases, able to control themselves. If I were in charge, nobody would get a “special” day. Everyone would be welcome every day
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 11 24
This sounds like an example of “no good deed goes unpunished.”
Hot debate. What do you think? 16 18
just my thoughts but wouldnt a simple solution be to have special needs day one day then kids day the next? the fair is there plenty of days isnt it?
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 18 1
Yes, Brian, some of things things are easily fixable. But last year there was a focus group for adults, and one for teens. There was a special needs day implemented without having a focus group for input, hence the problems. That just doesn’t make sense. The parents that have children with special needs are not whiny, complaining about not getting “enough”. Things only get better through voicing issues not hiding behind them. The attitude in the paper of the RRVF saying “If something isn’t working why do it?” says a lot. Let’s get it rid of something because some parents said we did it wrong. It is not looking a gift horse in the mouth, it is a fact that I can’t use a free ticket for something that is not accessible for my child? My son wants to go to the fair, and I want that for him. You are totally right, it seems simple, and hopefully the fair will listen to ALL families.
Like or Dislike: 14 6
I dont have a child with special needs but I know and work with enough families to understand the frustration some of these parents feel. If you are going to call a day “Special Need’s Day” and make no special accomodations to people with special needs than why is it called that? Yes, there was free entry..and that’s great! But I think most parents would have been willing to pay for their childs enjoyment of the fair if it meant the music would be turned down, the lines would be trimmed down, the rides be slowed down, and the carnie’s be told to not scream at every person who comes by them and therefore oftentimes scaring people who don’t quite understand why this unshaven man in a grundgy shirt is yelling. To have “Kids Day” and “Special Needs Day” at the same time just went even further to show that the fair took people with special needs to actual consideration. It was a great way to get more people into the RRVF on a cloudy Tuesday afternoon and from a business perspective I respect that. The place was overcrowded and by no means is that fun for a child who has autism and their parents have been led to believe that this day at the fair was going to be different. Maybe the RRVF should NOT have a day dedicated to people with Special Needs unless they are willing to do a little research and see what would make that day more enjoyable for them. It’s almost like having an “All Boy’s Day” and painting the place pink. I’m sure those boys would be appreciative of the free entry but willing to paint if it meant it was ACTUALLY going to be an All Boys Day….
Like or Dislike: 19 7
To have â€œKids Dayâ€ and â€œSpecial Needs Dayâ€ at the same time just went even further to show that the fair took people with special needs to actual consideration.
Supposed to say NO actual consideration!
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Iâ€™m sure those boys would be appreciative of the free entry but willing to paint if it meant it was ACTUALLY going to be an All Boys Dayâ€¦.
and paint was supposed to say pay…I obviously got worked up in a tizzy and didnt do the spell checking!
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Thank you Tracey…..well said.
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Oh goodness, my daughter will love this!
Poorly-rated. Like or Dislike: 9 24
This is to Bruce. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your post. It is a difficult thing to get the awareness out for a disability you cannot see. My suggestion to Pete was to go to youtube and check out the Fargo Faces of Autism video as well as Autism Mothers final cut video. Also the new Jet Li movie trailer coming out called Ocean Heaven about a father with a non verbal teenage boy with autism. You can see the beautiful faces of children that look “normal”, as well as a fraction of the moms out there internationally dealing with this. My son may never speak, but we are working on it. I have had many parents see me in the store with my son and heard “wow someone’s crabby”, “I wouldn’t spoil him like that”, etc. And they don’t know that it is the fan noise, or the lady with the scary hat, he understands a LOT, or that he doesn’t know the store’s Moon book is not his, but just the same book. There are so many common misconceptions out there (like that autism is similar to rainman), or that kids with autism make no eye contact or hate being hugged. Sometimes thats true, but my son loves being hugged, he also loves water, and a lot of other “normal kid things”. Thank you for your kind words! Nicole
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Where did I say anything that would indicate I don’t understand autism?
My only point is that some of the people criticizing Special Needs Day because of crowds and lines have unrealistic expectations. Promotions like that can never be everything to everybody. I don’t think it’s unreasonable for the fair to assume parents should know there will be crowds at a fair.
Again, the complaints about poor organization and the resulting confusion are valid. The other complaints seem to be questionable.
Like or Dislike: 8 11
Well, Pete, you prove you don’t understand autism if you think we should just expect there to be crowds and deal with them. If there is less crowds on Sunday night, then do special needs on Sunday night!!!! My point IS that with many disabilities (NOT just autism) crowds and lines are a huge obstacle. Is it really an unrealistic expectation to have ONE time, ONE hour with less people, really?! Out of nine days? Ridiculous. 600 children registered for that. All of these children deserve to go to something in this community that other children get to enjoy. RRVF doesn’t get to just call something “special needs day ” to look good, you still haven’t answered me after all these posts…What is Special Needs Day besides a free ticket? And what good is a free ticket to children who can’t use it? Think about what you’re saying.
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No, you should think about what I am saying before making claims of proving anything. I never said you should just “deal” with the crowds. I said you should have known they would be there.
And yes, “Special Needs Day” is evidently just a free ticket. You act as though they owe you something, or since they didn’t cater specifically to your needs that the entire promotion was worthless and somehow insulting. But where did you get the idea that it was more than a free ticket? They didn’t promote it as anything more that I know of. And I guarantee you most of the kids had a good time and found the tickets to be worthwhile. That’s what “good” the promotion did.
Like or Dislike: 9 8
And by the way, yes, I still think you are asking too much. What you are proposing, even “just an hour”, would require either fair funds or donations to cover the expenses not just of the lost funds but in the planning and organization of it.
As I stated before, perhaps if you would get a business to sponsor and fund your ideas and volunteers to carry them out you would have a better chance of success.
I should also say you shouldn’t take what I’m saying as an insult even though these posts can often come off that way. I’m simply trying to discuss this in a manner that reflects the reality. I wouldn’t blame or think less of the fair board for dropping it alltogther. They tried doing something good and it has turned into a headache and given them bad publicity.
Like or Dislike: 9 7
Do the theaters in Fargo still do the sensory-modified movie showings?
Yes. They do. One Saturday a month at 10:30am.
Like or Dislike: 11 1
Cool! Thanks. I was hoping they did so I can get a group together.
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Hey Barb, the movies are actually posted (which theater, etc.) on the marcus theatre website by city. To the person who put thumbs down…??? It’s an awesome program. It is the last Saturday of ever month.
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Very good discussion but many seem to forget that the fair does not own or run the carnival rides and games, they simply contract with them. It is not always possible, affordable or safe to modify rides. Some persons are disabled to the point that there is simply no way to safely accomidated them.
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@Glen. No, I know, I’m not forgetting that. It is the carnival who actually proposed the special needs day, and it works in a lot of cities. RRVF thought it would be a good way to give to the community, but they aren’t out the $ because it is the midway who donated the tickets. What i am saying, and people like ilovenorthdakotas attitude shows..is that neurological disorders are misunderstood and overlooked. My son CAN control himself, but many children can’t take sensory overload BUT love the rides. The rides are great IF there are not TONS of extra people around. So if we could use the ticket at another time (say an evening when it wasn’t busy) that would work. But we can only go on the specified KIDS day. Why wouldn’t (if the ticket is free) we be able to go another time? OR don’t call it something it isn’t. It unfortunately misleads many families.
@Pete, you did not read the email correspondence between the fair and the parents. This wasn’t our idea to have a special needs day. We have a TON of volunteers waiting to offer to be of assistance to the fair, but they didn’t have a focus group for us. Just teens (and adults in this community that don’t have the same issues.) You are missing my point. Im not ungrateful for the effort, but if you do something, you need the input from the people you do it for FIRST. Business do not always think before they do things. If I was going to arrange a special day, and I did no research, didn’t talk to the people I was doing it for, and then shot down their ideas (may I remind you, I said we would pay for the tickets, even extra?) I am not financially bad off. You know what they say, bad press is still press. It allows people to think things through completely, I don’t see how its a headache to have an additional focus group to learn what best meets the needs all MOST families with a family member with a disability.
@ilovenorthdakota, I don’t preach to people, Understanding that there are different kinds of disabilities other than physical is important. I think the fairs bigger liability are parents who drop off their children unsupervised, or drunk people roaming the grounds, not disabled children. Guess its a good thing you aren’t in charge.
*Being ignorant is not so much a shame as is being unwilling to learn..Ben Franklin
Like or Dislike: 7 5
You fail at so many aspects of your reply I don’t even know where to start. You fail in opening your mind. You fail at opening your heart. You fail to want to educated. You fail at what others try so hard in every corners of the earth – fight for the equality of every human on this planet. You know, God hand picks people to be the parents of special needs kids because of the qualities they possess to handle the constant stress, judgements, and obstacles you meet in raising these beautiful gifts…..quite certain I know why He did not pick you.
Like or Dislike: 7 14
I did not fail. I simply do not believe that people have the right to dictate to others what they should and shouldn’t be educated in. If you are the parent of a special needs child, then yes, of course, you should learn as much as you can about how to handle that. Just because that is your special situation does not mean that EVERYONE has to deal with it, as well. Just remember….don’t let your mind be so open that your brain falls out. Oops…too late for you.
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The thing is “lovenorthdakota”, children with special needs grow up to be adult members of our community. To educate ourselves about differences only means we can all work together. Its willful ignorance that stops progress.
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I’ll bet you choose not to deal with alot in your life, and that is your right. But I hope you understand by your logic other people do not have to deal with your ignorance and lack of empathy. ….I wonder if you say the same thing when a person in a wheelchair is struggling to get into a building that cannot accomodate them….I guess they should just learn to deal with it and find a way to get in themselves – we wouldn’t want anyone else to be “put out” or dictated to on how to “deal” with something that is OBVIOUSLY their problem. By your logic, you would have saved America several millions of dollars by not having to put Handicap accessible equipment in every public place, because honestly, why should I have to “deal” with those people and their special need? ….Not my problem, right? ….It must be nice to live in that little problem free box of yours…
Actually, I open doors and offer help whenever I see a handicapped person. It is not my job or the fair’s to research every little detail of every single handicap or retardation known to man. You are never going to push the fair into catering to your every want and need. You should have been grateful for them doing the generous thing they did but like all liberals, you had to cry and b@^#& that it wasn’t NEARLY enough. The common sense answer for the fair is to just stop having “special needs” day.
Like or Dislike: 6 14
Wow, this doesn’t deserve a reply, but I feel like I should. Autism is not retardation. Handicapped is not only physical disabilities. It’s not about needing every little detail of every single disability taken care of. What they did (so generously) was provide a free ticket that couldn’t be used by MANY children because of the issues they were overlooking. No one is trying to push the fair into anything, on the other hand, NOW they are willing to have a meeting with parents to LISTEN and make it better for ALL children with disabilities. By the way, if they are going to have a special needs day, it most certainly is their job to research it, since they started it, and no one asked. You obviously are looking at this from some kind of political standpoint. I’ve read your other anti-Muslim, anti-everyone posts. Do you want some kind of reward for opening a door for a handicapped person? You are obviously a very prejudiced person. The common sense thing to do, would be to stop replying with ignorant posts. You will never know the privilege of having a child like mine. …Nicole
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While the fair and the carnival had good intentions in mind the problem is that they did not consider the needs of the people they were hosting the event for. The fact is the fair did not talk with a variety of parents with special needs to see what would be best for their child. Holding Special Needs Day and Kids Day on the same day is irresponsible as doing this basically eliminates the ability of a large percentage of special needs children from the event due to sensory overload. I have a child with special needs and I would disagree that parents need to teach their children lessons in the real world, yes that is part of it but more importantly parents need to teach their children how to advocate and fight for equality for themselves and that can prove difficult. On multiple occasions I have had to fight for my child’s rights simply so he could wear they braces that help him not fall and walk safely. People in this country need to learn and understand people with special needs and not try to make them conform to a standard which they are not mentally or physically able to. Parents of special needs children do not want handouts and free passes, they want the community to understand their children and they expect reasonable accommodations in order to provide their children with the same opportunities as other children.
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Luke Hillerson I understand Autism sectrum disorders well as I have word with persons dealing with the disorders. But if I remember correctly the RRVF had been losing money for a number of years until very receintly and there was talk of closing it. If may simply not be possible to totally close the fair to all others for a period of time. I know it sucks but sometimes that is the way life works.
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Glen-(side note, my name is nicole, logged in as my son since my laptop was not working), Well, yes I know the fair had financial issues, but that shouldn’t be the basis on whether or not to do something. If they can’t have a specified time, (which is sad considering it was 600 kids that registered, and if those kids come with their families, how will the fair LOSE $), I have three other boys, then come up with something else, but take ALL disabilities into consideration. Listen to the parents, and above all ASK them what would help before you advertise “special needs day” all over Fargo and then really don’t do anything different. That is a gimic, and its inevitable there was disappointed parents.
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I guess they did not contemplate the vastness of the label “special Needs”. The needs of that wide population are so vast that to meet the requirements of some it will cause problems for others. So we maybe left with the choice of doing the best you can to meet the needs of some knowing some will be left out or closing it down to all because there is an inherant conflict of needs.
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“Well, yes I know the fair had financial issues, but that shouldnâ€™t be the basis on whether or not to do something. ” (nicole)
Financial issues should indeed be at least part of the basis for doing something, whether a business or a family. To say otherwise is naive at best.
I do not know the intricacies of the fair operations, but from my personal experience of being out there, 600 families may be a fairly small turnout at any given time.
That said, there may well be a way for it to be financially and logistically feasible (e.g. sponsorship by an outside organization, a small fee for registrants, etc). But it would have to be a process involving a lot of communication that needs to be done now. And there can’t be any assumptions that everyone should just understand from either side.
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@Ariadne, Right I realize that. But the assumptions were mostly on the part of the RRVF considering they did NO research. None. I’m not the one being naive here. The thing is, a lot of families are very willing to pay. It’s not that we can’t afford to go, its that we can’t GO. Financial problems on the part of the fair means do things RIGHT. There are a lot of options, and a lot of ways to make it better. You are very right, it would have to be a process of communication, and that is what the parents have been asking for all along. Have a meeting. Listen to what we have to say. These families didn’t want a “free ride” (pardon the pun), they wanted an equal opportunity to enjoy the fair for their (our) kids. Overcrowded/long lines=not going to work. We know very well that the fair wouldn’t just “understand”. (Nor does some of the community). I’m sick of defending this position, I’m tired of explaining and fighting for things that my child wants to do and can’t. I’m tired of people judging me and thinking nothing is good enough, or we expect too much. It’s all bull. (Go ahead people I have made angry, thumb down me), these children are members of our community, and there are a LOT of them. The attitude I am getting from several posts is “well, I can’t believe you parents would expect your children to be able to attend the fair with REASONABLE accommodations”. NO one said close down the fair and let us have it all day to ourselves. I’m sorry, but I think allowing us to choose the time we use the free ticket is an option too, there are many, many possibilites. But saying that we didn’t appreciate something simply because it was done poorly and with no forethought is putting themselves on a pedestal, and thats a shame. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1905978/autism_in_public.html?cat=25
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Wasn’t kids day on Tuesday? Tuesday was the stormy day. I was at the fair all 9 days and Tuesday was by far the least busy of all. So, despite it being kids day, it did end up being the least busy time. My point being if that crowd on Tuesday was too large I’m not sure that any other day could possibly be better unless they did give a set time for only special needs. It’s hard to word things but I think that made sense.
Another idea.. I wonder if they could just open part of the midway early on one of the days. I can’t pretend to know all about all the special needs and what they all entail but being ignorant to it as I am, my *guess* would be that the majority of these special needs children would not be riding some of the rides that we see the older teens on. So, my idea is the midway could open maybe 2-3 hrs early one of the days (this would be the special needs day).. not all the rides but maybe just a good selection of more appropriate rides. Having some of the “scarier” rides shut down will also decrease the over all noise level. The fair could specifically ask for volunteers for this effort, although the carnival workers would have to be running the rides, I am sure some sort of time swap between the volunteers and the actual carnival workers could be worked out. Ex. the carnival worker that goes around sweeping the midway and takes the trash.. that job could be done through volunteers for the day freeing up that carnival worker to go and run a ride for a couple of hours for one of the carnival workers that began a couple hrs early that day. Make sense? The tickets could still be offered for free because they already did that anyway.. and the entire day could remain special needs day.. that way those special needs families who are able to enjoy the fair once open to the general public could remain or come at anytime through the day. I bet with tweeks here or there something like this could work.
I am not at all saying that we shouldn’t do things for special needs people, but everyone says one hour out of 9 days. If they did one hour, there would be people complaining that they were rushed and it should be 2 hours. Then 3 hours and so on. No matter what is done, and how it is done, someone will be unhappy about it. They tried doing something for your kids, why can’t trying ever be good enough, why does it always have to be more? Does the mall shut down so you can shop in peace? Do restaurants shut down so you can eat out? It is a parents choice whether to put your kids in any given situation, if a carnival isn’t appropriate for them, then maybe a quiet day in the park would be a better option.
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Hey Jim. I understand what you are saying. I think that one hour is enough for kids to get the benefit of going on the rides (which is what they care about most), and if they can handle staying longer with the crowds, that’s great. I don’t know why people keep saying they tried to do something for our kids. They gave us a free (generous) ticket, but then it was haphazardly put together so there was a lot of confusion and disorganization, then on top of it, kids day meant long lines and we could only use the ticket for that day. Plus, parents saw fliers around town saying Special Needs Day 11-1. But the rides start at 1:00. ???!!! You had to send in a registration form and then no one checked your name. Parents coming into the gate asked where to get their band and the employees didn’t even know it was Special Needs Day, or what the parents were talking about. The main point is that if you do something for someone, shouldn’t you see what would be of benefit first? No, places don’t shut down, but that’s just it. There are so many “inaccessible” places for us to go (just like it used to be for physical disabilities), and there ARE lots of options like I listed previously. If they want to do free tickets, let us choose when we come (so I can come when its super slow and devoid of daycares). Or let me purchase a fast pass so I don’t have to put my child through waiting in line. (If you think that is a problem, see above argument). The fair IS appropriate, but when you OFFER to do a “special needs day”, research it, that’s all I’m saying. I am not a complaining parent, or one who thinks my child deserves everything, but he does deserve more. Don’t you think I get sick of having people stare, or think I am spoiling him? Or think if he’s upset over something, I should be able to control his crying. I don’t glare at people or lecture them. I hold my head up over the ignorance every day. Should I stay home forever, or try to help make places more accessible to him so he can live the life of every other child? I do this all day, every day. I work for this. You take for granted what other people can do. The movie theatre NOW has a special needs day once a month with the sound down, and lights up. We can go to the theatre now. Do you know what that does for my son? For my family? My child is a well mannered, intelligent boy, but he can’t speak, and large, loud crowds are terrifying, but he LOVES rides. I just want to give that to him, and other moms and dads do too. Nicole
p/s We go to the park every day. It’s one place we can go. Thanks though, I’m glad people would like us to just stay “where we belong”.
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I am not saying to stay where you belong, nor am I saying that no special things should be done for your child. What I am saying is that when someone is doing you a favor, it can not always be done exactly the way you want or need that favor done. There are many many forms of disability, your son has one of them. How can they cater to all of them? How can they make everyone happy? Do we need an autism hour? Maybe an MS hour? posssibly a cerebral paulsy hour? An overweight hour? Do you see what I am saying? Every special need would need slightly different arrangements to be made, how could that be done? My comment was not about excluding anyone specific, I am just saying that not everything can be made to fit your situation. short people can’t be pro basketball players, overweight people won’t be olympic divers, blind people can’t drive, has the world been altered so these people can do these things? There are just certain things all of us can and can not do, for you, large crowds don’t work. They had a special needs day, which I am sure many enjoyed and appreciated, it was not an autism day, so your special need was one of the hundreds that did not fit the circumstances.
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Jim, NO one asked them to cater to all. Again, I’m not asking for autism day, but you need to encompass MOST disabilities. I am very aware about other ones, this is not my “cause”. My mother has MS, many of my friends children have other disabilities (william’s syndrome, smith-magenis syndrome, etc.) but it’s not slightly arranging it at all. Yes, the world has been altered for people. Blind people now have the ability to touch in braille on atms, and street crossing signals to make it easier to get around. Service dogs are now a right for people. Considering autism (not including its umbrella disorders like PDD-NOS, and Aspergers) is one in 70 boys, this is an increasing number of children And it isn’t just autism that smaller crowds would benefit from. Physical disabilities benefit from not having to maneuver around larger crowds. May I remind you that crowds are everywhere? It’s not “one thing we can’t do”. Which “special needs” didn’t “mind” the disorganization, chaos, and large crowds?…probably the minority, NOT the majority.
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When you called the fair office to see what accommodations were being made, what did they say?
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“Special Needs” covers so many disabilities that one event can not cater to all at the same time time.
i.e. turn down the sound and slow down the rides and the hearing-impaired, wheel-chair-bound, cancer patient, etc. children, do not have as much fun. Children who cannot walk, see or hear need very different accommodations than children who are sensitive to crowds, noise and lights.
My heart goes out to all families who struggle to give their disabled children the world they so much deserve. It’s a parent’s job to fight for their children and give them what they can. So, I applaud these parents who have voiced their concerns.
In the end, if the fair did not plan to prepare for all Special Needs, the flier or brochure should have described EXACTLY what “Special Needs Day” meant and parents could have planned accordingly. Obviously there was no ill-intent on the fair’s part, but this has opened a door for these parent’s to meet with the proper fair people to see what can be better for next year. I really don’t see where the harm is in that.
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For as many different “special needs” as there are, there are as many different parents and sets of hopes and expectations. For example, I was told by the Mom of another young man with disabilities similar to my son’s that Make-A-Wish was “charity” and not for her. My son got so much joy from his MAW trip, I think they’re the best organization ever.
OTOH, I get ticked off at all the “God only gives special children to special mommies!” stuff while others find comfort in trying to find a reason for their child’s pain other than “Bad things happen to innocent children who don’t deserve ANY of it.”
You can’t please everyone.
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