Thursday, June 3, 2021

Even better than accommodations for your child: not having to fight for them

Over the weekend, while we were cruising the boardwalk in Wildwood, NJ, Max booked over to the go-kart ride on Morey's Piers. He's been on it before in the same kart as Dave only this time, they didn't have any two seaters. I wasn't sure how that would work out. We had to buy tickets for rides for Ben, too, and headed to the nearby customer service office, which is also where you can request accommodations.

We've mainly had good experiences with accommodations at amusement parks, though I can't say the same about programs and camps I've tried to get Max into over they years and accommodations for school during his early years. This time, though, something unexpected happened. 

As I paid for our tickets, I chatted with the woman behind the desk. "I have a question for you. He's a pretty good driver," I said, gesturing to Max who was standing a few feet away with Dave and Ben. "But do you think he'll be able to handle the course on his own with the other cars zooming around?" I had no underlying intentions—I genuinely wanted her opinion, because I wondered if it might be too much for Max to handle.  

And this woman replied, without hesitation, "What I can do is radio over and tell them to just let your son and another driver race, either you or your husband. You'll be the only people there."

I was blown away. Never before—and I mean never—had anyone offered an accommodation like that. I wouldn't have even thought to ask for it. Maybe this was something they'd offered in the past when two-seater karts weren't available but still: Giving a guest a private ride is huge.

"Wow," I said. "That would be great." 

"Just stand by the exit and they'll let you in," she said, handing me the credit card receipt to sign. 

We walked out the glass doors and returned to the Grand Prix Raceway. There was only a small line. We stood at the exit for five minutes or so, watching karts whiz by us. When time was up, the drivers filed out. And then an attendant opened the gate to let Dave and Max in. Max almost tripped over an orange cone but Dave righted him, got him seated and strapped him in. 

Dave and Max had the course to themselves for several minutes. They both had the biggest grins on their faces the entire time, and so did I. Max did a masterful job of steering around the course while maintaining a good speed, demonstrating excellent coordination. (He later proved his driving prowess once again on the bumper cars.)

When their race was over, the attendant clapped for Max.

I mean. 

Accommodating a person with disability so they can participate in life like anyone does shouldn't be so hard, but as we know, it sure can be. What parent of a disabled child doesn't have a story...or twenty?! As the parent of a child with disabilities, I have grown accustomed to requesting what he needs and advocating for him. Sadly, I am also used to having to fight for his right to have accommodations. It was delightful, heartening and faith-restored-in-humanity-lifting for Max to easily and breezily enjoy the ride. 


  1. Wow, when did Max start looking like a grown man? I can not handle him growing so fast. Wasn't he addicted to purple like last week?

  2. Cape May County as a whole is very accommodating Terry and Tim from Exit Zero asked about Max the other night

  3. What a great thing for the staff member to do. Max looked like he was having a blast!


Thanks for sharing!

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