Wonderworks Experiment

The Wonderworks Experiment.

Worderworks at Destiny USA is an interactive museum / entertainment facility.  

It’s also a sensory nightmare for people with autism.  Full of loud noises and bright lights.  I knew I could get Liam to love it if I can just set him at ease.  

Right from the get go he was terrified with their signature rotating tunnel.  

He screamed in horror for a good ten minutes, refusing to try anything. 

I knew then what needed to be done.  I picked him up and brought him to near the exit of the museum.  To the bubble crafting exhibit.  

After that it was a smooth sailing.  I let him wander at will through the facility at least a dozen times.  But each time he would try something new once he realized there was nothing to fear.   

I guess it’s a good lesson for any autism parent.  Let them go at their own pace.  Chances are good that they will get the hang of it.. 


Why are people like that.

“Stranger who keeps looking at us.  I have. I time to explain to you what Autism is or why my child behaves this way.  To be frank, if you aren’t trying to help, it’s none of your business.” Said every Autism parent.  

I’m still too heated to write about this incident I had at an innocent Church, mind you, rummage sale this evening.  

But if you are one of “those” people…here are some images for yo”Stranger who keeps looking at us. I have. I time to explain to you what Autism is or why my child behaves this way. To be frank, if you aren’t trying to help, it’s none of your business.” Said every Autism parent.

I’m still too heated to write about this incident I had at an innocent Church, mind you, rummage sale this evening.
But if you are one of “those” people…here are some images for you.

Modern Day DZ Discovery Zone : Billy Beez

If you are a 90s kid like me, you surely remember DZ Discovery Zone as the place that you pestered your parents to take you to run crazy. 

Don’t remember?  check out this short video

But those days are long gone.  

Until over the last few years when this new concept called Billy Beez hit the Northeast.  It’s basically the same thing minus the video games.  

Money? Check

Child caught in a 30 years old body circa Tom Hanks in Big? Check

Kids of my own? check

If you are a six foot adult trying to navigate these tunnels with your little ones then you know what your in for.  Busted knees and a sore back.  

Liam had a great time.  2 hours of endless running means a quiet night for me while applying the Neosporin to my knees and apply the icy hit patch.  

Time for a cold beer because I’m a grown up.  Take time to be silly.  Today was a good day

Put them to Work

Kids can be very enthusiastic about helping their parents at a young age.  

I think it’s important to encourage this as it will slowly grow out of them if you don’t reinforce their behavior.  

Always give them praise and an occasional reward.  

Another “Inexpensive Silencer”…ice cream

$.99 life boat : Surviving Autism Tantrums In Public

Sometimes parents who have children with behavioral disabilities shield them from the outside world as much as possible.  They don’t want to deal with the glaring eyes and judging looks when their child has a meltdown.  

Even worse, in some cases they even shut  in themselves from the outside world as well.  Ordering takeout and shopping with Amazon Pantry. 

I can’t say this wasn’t true about myself to some extent.  I wouldn’t go to a restaurant with Liam for almost a whole year after  my 30th birthday dinner,  where he caused such a scene that many tables left or asked to be moved.  

This year I refused to live that kind of life.  We expose Liam to everything.  Movie theaters, grocery stores, the Ocean, Restaurants, even Hiking.  

There are some times that meltdowns are eminent.  Usually when we have to leave somewhere fun.  He hates hates hates any store.  When it becomes too much to bare we turn to the “.99 cent life boat.” Every kid has them.   “Inexpensive silencers” I call them.  

For Liam they are M&Ms(“Yems”), lollipops “suckers”, and those little balloons on a stick conveniently placed at the check out.  

For those who roll your eyes and say “you just give him everything he wants” you are the same people rolling your eyes wishing my kid would just be quiet.  He doesn’t get them every time nor does he need them.  But when you are in that kind of situation they can be a life saver.  

Shelf Life

Shelf Life : “the length of time for which an item remains usable, fit for consumption, or saleable.”

As I’m sliding quarters into the parking meter I am thinking to myself, ” What is Liam’s shelf life today?”  Referring to the amount of time I can confine him to the stroller before he gets bored and has a full-blown meltdown.

It’s the same question I ask myself or my wife before we undertake any activity with him and it’s also the reason we stopped going to restaurants unless it’s a special occasion.

I don’t blame him.  I’m the same way when it comes to being confined.  I’m  also the same way when it comes to any interaction with other people.

I will make one thing clear about myself, as well as most introverts.  It doesn’t matter who you are.  Whether I have a close relationship or you are a complete stranger, you wear me out.

The speed in which you drain my batteries has to do which how much of a connection you have with me.  But don’t flatter yourself if I give you the time of day, the time will come where I need to get away from you.

Don’t take it personal but we need that alone time to re-charge.

My shelf life in any big social setting, oh by the way that’s any activity with more than 4 people, is about 2 hours.  Cut that in half…twice if I have nothing in common with you or I don’t know you.    When the internal hour-glass runs dry…it’s time to disappear.

When I go away on my company’s annual convention my colleagues wonder why I slink away for a private few minutes / 2 hours whenever I get a chance.  I’m not trying to be rude but it’s required for my own mental health.

Cut us some slack and give us space.

If you are trying to build a connection with an introvert,  I would suggest an activity with some sort of stimulation that can reduce that amount of talking the introvert has to do.

Go to a movie, play a sport, play video games.  Meet them on thier “turf”.  Whatever that is.  Respect thier introversion and they will let you in.  Slowly.  We are attracted to those who make the effort to make us feel comfortable.


Make It To The Top : Watkins Glen

We head back into the Southern Tier to one of my personal favorite, Watkins Glen

There is where having a hyperactive toddler comes in handy.  He is tireless.  Hiking up a mile in a half of slippery gorges was quick work for the mighty one.  

I love Watkins Glen.  It’s so beautiful that you have to stop and take it in.  

Once you reach the top you can let the kids hit the playground while the grown-ups grab refreshments.  

I suggest taking the Indian Trail down  for a quicker and easier decent.