Vacationing With Jaylen

Marissa Sweat Evans by Marissa Sweat Evans

Marissa Sweat Evans

Marissa Sweat Evans

I am a mother and advocate for my son as well as others with disabilities. My oldest was diagnosis with cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism.

Before my family and I started going on vacations we would always change our minds.

Reason being we weren’t comfortable with people staring not only at my son who’s in a wheelchair but my husband whose an amputee.

I often talk to other families who feel the same way about taking their families out.

So, they just stay home rather than go out and have people stare at them.

Which is something I try to encourage them not to do and I always tell them my experience from our first and second family vacations.

It was about three years ago when we started going places. I’ll never forget our first vacation.

We went to the Great Wolf Lodge in North Carolina.

This place isn’t very accessible but there is plenty to do.

We decided to go here because our kids love water especially my son. And it’s an indoor waterpark. I hate being outside!

While there of course we got the stares on the elevator or in the restaurant. But when we were in the waterpark the attention really wasn’t on us.

So, we really got to enjoy ourselves. The experience was amazing, and we have gone there every year since our first visit.

Our second vacation was at the beach.

The experience was not as good.

Well with us not use to going anywhere we were thinking we could take our son to the beach in his wheelchair. Well we found out that wasn’t going to work.

We ended up carrying him while still in his wheelchair to the water. By the time we got there we were bombed.

You know how the sand can take a toll on you when you’re walking through it.

Well imagine walking through it carrying a sixty-pound boy in his wheelchair.

When we got by the water of course people were staring at us because we just carried a wheelchair with our son in it. But the stares didn’t bother us this time.

I guess because we were tired from carrying the wheelchair. We just focused on enjoying ourselves and not on the people wasting their beach time looking at us.

Luckily, they have those beach wheelchairs that you can now rent when you go to the beach.

And there are a lot of more accessible beaches now.

So, when looking for places to visits don’t think about what others may think, don’t think about how people may look and of course you may run into some problems but most importantly have fun.


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