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Out of Our Comfort Zone

Sara Stythe by Sara Stythe Additional Needs

Sara Stythe

Sara Stythe

By sharing our experiences of what it is like raising a child with special needs people can understand our little people a bit better. Hopefully th...

Sitting through a live rugby match I thought would be out of the question for Isla. But not only did she do it...she actually enjoyed it too!

We only had to come inside 10 minutes before the end as the rain had set in. Luckily, she was still keen to watch the end of the game inside.

If it wasn't for my husband Gareth booking tickets without my knowledge I would never had agreed.  A rugby arena with lots of people, noise and stimulation is pretty hard to navigate when you have sensory processing issues. I must admit I have got into the habit of not challenging Isla (or myself) to experience new things and opt for easier options.

I knew this meant a lot for Gareth that we all could go to the rugby together. So I decided we needed to give it our best shot. I also had a backup plan that we could leave if it got too much as luckily our hotel was not far from the arena.

First thing we had to do was upgrade her earmuffs. Isla had preferred a softer variety but had come to her own conclusion that they weren't too good at blocking out noise.

We were also fortunate that Isla had attended "holiday club" and had spent some time with her ex teacher who knows her well. Isla must have mentioned that she wasn't looking forward to the rugby because it was boring. The teacher mentioned to me she had been trying to tell Isla that we do lots of things that she liked so maybe she needed to give it a try. This was a huge help in helping Isla adapt to the idea.

Finally there was some bribery in the form of hot chips!

To be honest I probably found it more stressful than Isla. Waiting for her to react to all the people, worrying when the rain started falling and when the cheering started. Isla did look a bit worried at first but then visibly relaxed and by the end was cheering with everyone else.

It has become so easy to take the safe option. This was a bit of a wake up call for me that we have to keep challenging Isla and get her to experience new things. I am sure some outings will not be as successful but it is always better to give it a go than not try at all.


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