Holiday Playtime Chaos for an ASD Boy

This week we’re at Haven Haggerston Castle ( http://www.haven.com/parks/northumberland/haggerston-castle/) which is why I’ve been quiet on the posting front. I’ll have an overall review of our holiday this weekend when we’re home, but I thought I’d comment on the play activities put on by the brilliant Funstars on site.

Matthew is nervous around large groups of people he doesn’t know, so when it comes to the kids activities in the main show bar, he retreats into his shell. Because its Easter holiday time, the park is very busy, and the show bar is mobbed every night. When it comes to the kids show, there’s stampede of young children to the dance floor. Add a few parents, and its very crowded indeed. Even Daniel will retreat to the periphery of the group. But Matthew is terrified of the prospect of joining the mob.

While the kids show is organised by the brilliant staff, there’s still a chaotic randomness that Matthew just can’t cope with. People moving about on the dance floor, people going back to their tables, people coming back from the table. Its chaos. Then there’s the noise – constant music (that’s another story – the boys maturing taste in music. I think Gangnam Style and One Direction will be heard in our house kin the coming weeks!) and the instruction from the Funstars. Overall, its a massive sensory overload for the lad.

Sad thing is, he’s often transfixed by the mob on the dance floor, the games and dancing ( which he loves) that its obvious he wants to join in but just doesn’t know how to. Its confusing to him, and the social niceities  involved completely elude him. Its the price he pays for having a “special brain.” Still, I think he’s enjoyed it and will be looking forward to our next trip to Haven in the summer.

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