I saw a T Shirt the other day that said “sorry I was late, I didn’t want to come.” I can relate.

Heading out of the comforts of home with our special needs son is a difficult task. Going to a get ­together or party that is only held outdoors is even harder. 

Parties at a park or beach are wonderful for so many, but unfortunately, not for us. 

Picnics do sound amazing. 

The sun shining down on me, warming my skin sounds delightful. 

Spending an afternoon in the summer sun with friends is definitely a dream come true, but bringing our youngest son along isn’t easy.

 As summer approaches I know there will be quite a few invites that we will need to carefully consider. 

1. Is there disabled access for his medical stroller or do I need to hold him the entire time?

2. Is there a shaded area or a place for him to cool down?

3. If he loses his mind when we arrive and we have to turn around and go home, will it be worth the drive?

4. Will there be others there willing to help if I’m going alone?

5. How upset will our older son be if/when we have to leave early?

6. Should we drive separate (if my husband is attending) so one of us can stay with the big guy and one of us leave with our youngest?

7. How loud will it be? Will he be able to handle the sensory overload?

8. What will keep him entertained?

9. Will there be anyone who is ill there?

10. Do we risk going not knowing if anyone is ill or has been ill recently?

It’s not that we don’t want to attend. Really, I would love to load up the car without a worry and enjoy the summer weather.

It is just that my list of things to consider may be longer than others.

When attending with a child who cannot sit on a picnic blanket, run around the playground, or splash in the water, there are quite a few more items to think through.

So, if you invite us to an outdoor event, please understand that I may want to come but he may not.

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