Wesley was a huge fan of Sesame Street when he was young, and since Sesame Place was so close by, we took him and his brother. We had not known how overstimulated he would get and the experience ended up much more stressful than we had expected.
When we moved to Hershey, we knew that Hersheypark was a big attraction in the area. But given our children’s young ages and experience at Sesame Place, we decided to hold off on trying. We went to Chocolate World, where both kids cried seeing Santa, so we knew we had some work to do.
We spoke with our Occupational Therapist and worked on ways that Wesley could feel comfortable as he went through these types of experiences. She told us of ways to hold him tight to make him feel more secure as we went through a stimulating environment, and it definitely helped.
We had family come visit us one week over the summer and they had some elementary school aged kids. We knew that they would love HersheyPark so we decided it would be the day. We bought the tickets and prepared as best as we could. We got the disability pass so that the worry of waiting in line was alleviated. We planned on spending the bulk of the day at the water park, and asking if he would want to ride just a couple of rides in the beginning. Wesley, not only rode the rides, but loved it and had the biggest smile on his face as we rode them. We walked in hoping for the best and expecting the worst, and had an amazing day.
Since then, we are now proud owners of HersheyPark season tickets, and go on a whim. We have even been able to have one parent bring both of the boys and not be an overly stressful situation. It took some work to figure out how to get Wesley enjoying it, but he now asks for it regularly. This has also made it so that we can take him to other places like water parks, and really enjoy being a family in the community.
Catherine, Wesley’s mom