We had a rare opportunity to take Angel to see a basketball game last night. It was a match up between the Brooklyn Nets and the Charlotte Bobcats at the Barclay’s Center. Taking a child with autism to a packed basketball arena on a school night for the first time had me a bit nervous but Angel did great.
Thanks to the New York State Institute on Disability, Inc. we were able to get FREE tickets. NYSID provides children and adults with disabilities who live with their families the chance to choose from free trips and events throughout New York City.
I made sure to have Angel’s headphones, iPAD, and lunch bag with snacks. The security guard at check in even overlooked their “no outside food policy” after I explained to him that my son is on the autism spectrum and he will need his snacks during the game. I also said he won’t eat what they sold there. Maybe that was a stretch because they did have popcorn but it was my first time at that arena and I did not want to risk it.
Once we got through security we went to the will call window to present the confirmation letter we got with our details from NYSID and my ID. I was overly prepared because I had Angel’s birth certificate and his most recent psychological evaluation. In the end, only my ID was needed.
So far Angel was doing good with the crowd and noise. We were given seats designated for people with disabilities and we had a great view of the court. This was a bonus because it only had one row and Angel had space to move around and not get too overwhelmed by the crowds.
What made this day more awesome was the fact that it was also Angel’s dad’s birthday. So we also went with two of his close friends. Despite the rainy night and being dog tired by the time we got home, it was an awesome experience.
Okay enough with the back story. Check out the pics we took.
How does your child handle crowded events and settings? Let me know in the comments. I look forward to hearing from you.
Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I love the fact that this opportunity exists and wanted to share it with other special needs families in NYC.
Note that in order to qualify for this NYSID program, you have to be eligible for OPWDD services and have a TABS ID number. This program is only available to residents of Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island.
*OPWDD: Office for People with Developmental Disabilities