Abel went on his first ride in a boat on his own – an event his Mom never imagined that he would do. Two years ago you could not even pour water on his head as he was terrified. At Kid’s Day he fit right in, was part of the event, made friends and found his comfort zone. He grabbed anyone willing to ride with him and hopped on every boat he could. On his timeline at school he notes that BEACH DAY was one of his favorite days of the year (next to his birthday).
This is the one event Kendra looks forward to every year – second only to Christmas! I had no ideas that Kendra loved going on fast boats. We don’t know anyone with a boat so this is the only time that Kendra gets that experience. The boat drivers and everyone helping at the event are so welcoming that Kendra felt comfortable trying something new. That is a big deal for Kendra with her disability. It makes it all the better that we get to attend with other Tichenor families, the swim instructors and therapists. It take the therapy out of the clinic to the beach where the kids can use what they have learned in swim lessons or therapy. They get to participate with friends and do something fun that typical families get to do. Thanks to the drivers and their families for sharing their boats and the day at the beach with our family.
Janie never leaves her mom’s side. But, at Kid’s Day, Janie went on the boat by herself. She touched base with her mom at one point and told her to wait with the parents while she was going on the boats. She made a point of letting her mom know that she wanted to go on her own.
Jared loves to go to Kid’s Day. He has a really hard time around people and in different situations. With the helpers on the beach, he was able to get in and out of the boats – something his mother couldn’t help with because of her own scoliosis. They were so patient with him. When he gets overwhelmed in a crowd, he usually gets so upset that they have to leave. At Kids Day, he enjoyed watching and being with the other kids and was sad to leave at the end of the day.
Leyna has quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and spends most of her time in her wheelchair. She got an opportunity to ride in the boat for the first time and really enjoyed it. After that she tried sitting on the beach for the first time with volunteers who played with her. They talked her into trying kayaking next and she loved it. It was such a great day – OUT OF HER WHEELCHAIR! Now going to the beach has become a fun outing for the whole family.
Bryan loves Kids Day and starts talking about it right after school gets out in June. This year a volunteer went with him on a kayak and then suggested he try one on his own. His mom was so afraid that he couldn’t follow directions or have the strength to do it on his own. But the volunteer went next to him and he followed directions and learned to do it on his own. He also wanted to try tubing behind one of the boats. He mom was sure that he would fall out and not be able to hold on and that he would panic on the ocean since he’s only ever been in a pool. He was the only one in his group who was able to hold one and not fall out until the boat driver was able to challenge him to the point that he finally fell out. He swam back to the boat with no panic and as comfortable as if he were swimming in a pool. Bryan did great and was never worried about being on the water with the boats and drivers.