The Salt Lake Bee's mascot, Bumble,
This Gorilla thing (anyone know who he is? No one at the event seemed to. He pulled up on a Harley and was wearing fur tight Wranglers.) This police officer with a few of his uniformed buddies, because, after all, parents of children with autism do tend to get out of hand.
Nemo was there too. His dad was missing, but was probably searching for him in the duck pond.
Captain Jack Sparrow, at least a guy who was really into his character...a little too in character.
My wonderful wife,And of course, Spiderboy! (Queue 80's cartoon theme song.)
And last, but not least, one of the VIP's from the event: our very own Avi!
With such an impressive list of attendees one would expect an equally striking list of activities. Don't worry because one would not have been disappointed. There was Itai's favorite: the Choo Choo Train. (Don't let him fool you, he was terrified unless seated on a grown ups lap, meanwhile Avi rode with some random other VIP.)
Splore was there with this great climbing wall. Splore provides outdoor sports and recreational activities to children and adults with disabilities. The line for the wall was really long, and the kids were scrambling up pretty quickly.Should you get tired of squishing into a tiny choo choo, or hiding from Captain Jack there was this great information fair. They had all sorts of vendors explaining there services, people selling magnets, t shirts and other things and even a woman selling pretty much everything you could find in a 7-11. Debbie and I were finally able to over come a long standing stylistic difference and we bought two autism awareness bumper magnets for our cars.Once you've finally convinced your parents to leave the boring stuff again you can get back to the fun. There's lots of fun to be had, like this little inflatable ball.You could feed the ducks, follow the rooster, play in the sensory pools, try out the various games or lose the raffle (we never win!) or, finally you could take a trip down inflatable row. Avi was in heaven. He was jumping, running and bouncing to Nirvana. He couldn't have been happier. They had about seven inflatable bounce houses or slides and Avi got to try all but one.
My favorite was the one on the right in the picture below. After climbing through the opening Avi was met with a few obstacles. The first was pretty simple. He just had to make his way through some tall bendable columns. After he did that he found himself face to face with a very narrow opening. He tried to squeeze his head through, but he doesn't like to exert that kind of force. He watched several children do it before he finally was brave enough to force his way through. Having passed that trial he faced the interlocking gate. He was able to master this one pretty quickly. Now the only thing that stood between him and his beloved slide was now a steep staircase. No staircase was going to stand in his way; he flew up to the top and dove down the other side. I was so proud of him for fighting through it even though he didn't think he could.I really enjoyed having the night off and the day with these beauties! It was so much fun I might have to make it an annual thing. :) As we left the helicopter that had been displayed suddenly took off. It shot straight up over us and off into the sky. It all happened so quickly all I could get was this blurry picture of a tiny little helicopter. So after all this fun and hard work, what is left to do? Well, if you're Avi you make a pillow of your underwear and try to get some sleep.If you're Itai you forget the underwear and skip straight to the sleeping part.
The Autism Carnival was a really fun. I am so impressed that Sahara put this together, creating a wonderful day of fun and togetherness. It was great to have time to spend as a family, finding resources, meeting other families and just having fun.