Saturday, July 28, 2012

Accommodations

Read this article today: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-seidman/max-wymer-pool-water-wings_b_1705783.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl12%7Csec3_lnk3&pLid=184671#ooid=hwbGFmNTo7b37KyE3xUioVQKcyP5qRW2

Situations like this are so hard, and we ran into something similar a few months ago at Monkey Joe's.

In the scenario here, I understand both sides, and I know that it is hard for employees who are just trying to follow the rules so that everyone is safe and can have fun.

I will admit, before having a child with special needs, I didn't realize how many situations are naturally limiting in how they are set up. This is not one's fault, really, but I felt badly that I'd never really noticed it that much before. I thought the extent of most accommodations involved installing a wheelchair ramp and maybe an elevator if there only were stairs.

I had no clue.

So let's think about the options the family in the situation above faced.

1. Wear the water wings anyway and risk going to jail (hey, the cops were called, so it's not that far off).

2. Only go to the pool when someone can supervise their son, which might be very few instances (caregivers who can handle various special needs are hard to come by, and respite care is not as abundant as people think).

3. Try to find another pool that will allow Max to wear water wings (these are less and less common, I'm finding).

4. Never go to a pool again with Max.

5. Or, try to communicate with staff at the pool to find a way for everyone to be safe and Max can enjoy the pool with his family.

We are so appreciative when people are willing to work for a middle ground where kids with special needs get to enjoy the same things that others freely enjoy.

I'd like to say it's not bending the rules, but it is. However, this is not done in the spirit of rebellion, disrespect for authority, or to hurt others. It is done from a place of having enough respect for those who, by no fault of their own, need some extra assistance in doing everyday activities. Even though it might not have happened in the smoothest way, it's good to hear that a solution was reached in this situation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's interesting about the water wings. We were actually told at the pool on base they prefer water wings with the extra pack around the chest as it works better than anything else for very small kids.

I always feel torn as well, when I come up against something that makes sense but limits Olivia.