Due to the brain damage our son endured during birth, he has cerebral palsy. This condition affects the muscles in his body. In his case, he cannot use his arms and legs. He uses a wheelchair. His cerebral palsy also affects the muscles needed to talk. He uses a communication device that he activates with eye gaze.
Even with these challenges, he still likes to have fun. He doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines. He likes to try new activities and is really quite a thrill seeker. Since he was little, we’ve tried to keep life as typical for him as possible. With different accommodations, he’s usually able to participate in many different activities. He’s played t-ball, gone down water slides and ridden rides at amusement parks. He enjoys swimming, fishing and even riding horses.
Of course, the older and bigger he gets, the more difficult some of these activities are as he needs physical assistance from others to participate. However, we do our best to make sure he can at least try to do the things he wants to do.
For Christmas this year, his grandmother treated everyone to a session at iFLY, an indoor skydiving experience in vertical wind tunnels! When we arrived at the location, the staff explained everything to him. They assured him that two people would help and hold onto him the entire time.
He was really nervous, but he suited up and put on his helmet. The instructors were amazing! They treated him with dignity and respect. They did not treat him any differently because of his disability. We were signed up for two separate one-minute flights. To keep from transferring him so much from his wheelchair, he did one two-minute flight. He absolutely loved it! The wind carried him up so high, and he spun around and went up and down. His smile was priceless.
When his flight was over, he told us that he now wants to go scuba diving and skydiving! If that’s what he wants to do, we’ll find a way to make it happen. With an open mind and knowledgeable instructors, anything is possible!
For more ideas for outings, visit Navigating Daily Life-Parenting Children with Disabilities.