Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

A Special Place for Special Children

Magazine article The Exceptional Parent

A Special Place for Special Children

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

There are many military installations in Texas and lots of military families who don't live there plan vacations to the state to visit places like The Alamo, the Riverwalk, Sea World and other major attractions in the San Antonio area. All of those are great, but I urge those heading out that way (and those stationed nearby) to visit Morgan's Wonderland (www.morganswonderland.com).

Imagine a park where your children, no matter if they have a disability or not, can play with full access. There are no lines to wait in, everything works, a full staff of caring individuals who care and want to assist your family, and there is an option of calling ahead before arriving to the park to ensure it is an enjoyable experience for you and your children. This almost seems unimaginable, but in San Antonio, TX, a place like this does exist. Morgan's Wonderland is a 25 acre park dedicated to ensuring children of all ages, with all disabilities, can enjoy experiences similar to a typical child.

In June of last year, EP Magazine wrote an article on Morgan's Wonderland describing its unique qualities and the pleasure it would be to so many children. My family had the privilege of visiting this park when we were down in San Antonio on vacation. Morgan's Wonderland is not advertised on the side of buses or through TV commercials, but through the lives this park has touched. An ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) tutor that works with my son, Broden, told us that we had to take the family to Morgan's Wonderland for his birthday. She promised that once we saw this park, we would agree there was no other place like it.

As instructed, we called ahead and made reservations. From the moment we walked through the door to when we left, we were greeted with non-judgemental smiles and a willingness to ensure this would be a positive experience for our whole family. To my surprise, not only was Broden having a blast on the playgrounds, but his 6-year-old typical brother, Hayden, was smiling just as big. Hayden had a great time leading Broden around the sensory village, a building dedicated to sensory stimulation that allows a child to stand next to a screen and have butterflies land on him, and a stable to experience riding a horse.

After enjoying the sensory village we walked up to the 8-acre lake to be greeted by a staff member asking Broden if he wanted to fish with her. …

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