How can you ruin something as fun as Disney World?? Well I almost did it.
In my defense, we didn’t have a lot of money and I really wanted to make the trip count. I had such WONDERFUL memories of my family trips to Disney growing up and I wanted everyone to have as much fun I had. I had a real challenge though. My daughter had significant Sensory Issues – very hypersensitive. Picture trying to take someone with a migraine to Disney World. (Yes, some of you are wondering WHY I would bother trying to take her there in the first place, but remember, I had all those childhood memories I was trying to relive.) I researched like a maniac. I planned the trip for the 2 weeks of lowest attendance for the entire year. I knew which onsite resort was the quietest and which BUILDING in that complex was the quietest, and even which ROOMS in that building faced the quietest courtyard. I knew which days of the week had the lowest attendance for which parks, which rides were most likely NOT to be over-stimulating and at what time of day those rides had the shortest lines. I even LAMINATED my maps! I still glow with pride remembering how many other moms in Fantasyland were outright AWED by that!! (This was before smart phones, apps and GPS or just imagine what I could’ve done!!) But I’m afraid there were casualties. You see, I was so focused on avoiding overstimulation that I forgot to let everyone RELAX and ENJOY themselves. One of the best things about Disney is the little unscripted, unscheduled moments. Disney isn’t just about going on all the right rides at the right times and seeing every parade. It’s about having FUN with EACH OTHER. That’s what makes it truly magical.[quote float=”left”]It’s about having FUN with EACH OTHER.[/quote] I missed the whole point!
You know what was the saving grace of the trip? The one place I let down was at meals. We had some great times trying out new and different restaurants and trying to eat Mickey Bars without getting sticky all over. We still laugh about my son’s reaction when he found out what Escargot was and worse that Dad was actually eating it! We all feel closer just talking about those memories.
Isn’t that true with Feeding Therapy too? Shouldn’t it be as much about ENJOYING the food and the company as it is about nutrition and hydration? But how often do we ruin it with our ‘by the book’ structured feeding therapy? We teach families to over- analyze it; make charts, graphs, and rules. We don’t let them follow their instincts or be spontaneous. We choreograph it and control it. Then throw in a huge dose of fear, anxiety and expectations, and Wham!! NOBODY wants to do it, least of all our patients. Aren’t you tired of the child crying when mom brings them into your therapy room? Or the elderly resident you work with clamming up and looking away when you walk up? We should be the ones literally leading people back to the table. There’s got to be a better way. Let’s find it together.
Because whether it’s Disney or Eating, it’s supposed to fun!