Autistic Teen Rides a Train!

My daughter, Bethany,  has autism and she is also a brain tumor survivor.

She’s had a super hard road to hoe and has experienced lots of pain and trauma in her life.

Lately, she’s been asking to ride a real train.

And since my husband and I will do just about anything to try to turn her crappy lot in life into a happy of a life as  possible, we came up with a plan to get her a ride on a real train!

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Finding the actual train for Bethany to ride was the easy part of our plan!

Because, lucky for us the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from our house!

And they still had openings on their Pumpkin Patch Train ride!

On this particular ride, the train takes you to a pumpkin patch where you disboard to pick out a pumpkin,  sample a little apple cider and cookies, and then ride back to the station.

At $20 per person, riding this train is not cheap, but we had been saving up for just such an occasion!!

The hard part of our plan to give Bethany a ride on a real train would be getting her to actually cooperate with getting to the station on time.

Then, she would need to be able to wait patiently in line for her turn to board the train.

She would also need to tolerate the noisy crowd.

And lastly, with my mobility issues, she might need to be willing to ride without me if I wasn’t able to board the train.

I’m so happy to report that Bethany did a splendid job waiting in line!

The noisy crowd didn’t seem to bother her a bit and I was able to climb the three little steps up to the train platform!

We all successfully boarded the train on time!

We settled into our seats and aniticpated a fun and exciting adventure to the pumpkin patch and back again!

Our trip to the pumpkin patch went smoothly!

Bethany really enjoyed the ride!

We even moved about and in between the cars while the train was moving to find the bathroom!!

I’ll admit, that part of the train ride made me extremely nervous as my imagination worked overtime worrying that one or both of us might fall off the train!!

Thankfully, that did not happen!!

Unortunately, however our ride didn’t totally go off without a hitch.

Just before we reached the pumpkin patch, Malcolm and I noticed that Bethany had a few eye blinking seizures.

So, when we got there, she didn’t feel well enough to get off the train to pick out a pumpkin.

At that point, all she wanted to do was to go back to the car.

So Malcolm picked out a pumpkin for her.

She actually fell asleep while he was doing so!

Malcolm and I were disappointed that Bethany didn’t get to pick out her own pumpkin.

But after we thought about it for a while, we realized that despite the seizures and missing out on the pumpkin patch experience, Bethany had a great time riding the train!

And riding the train had been her one and only goal!

While we had envisioned Bethany happily picking out a pumpkin, she had no such vision!

Bethany was not disappointed in the least!

We realized that we didn’t need to feel disappointed for her because she had thoroughly enjoyed her train riding experience exactly how it happened!

And truth be told, I shudder to think, what a huge disaster might have ensued if Bethany had gotten off the train at the pumpkin patch thinking we could get to the car from there and then refused to ride the train back to the station!!

As special needs parents we often need to adjust our additudes and expectations for what may happen on outings with our special kiddoes.

After all was said and done, Malcom and I counted our train ride to the pumpkin patch as a happy and successful one!!

Bethany was happy and satisfied with her train riding adventure and no disasters took place!!

Have you ever had an experience like this one, where you had a vision of how things would go and then when it didn’t go as planned you needed to adjust your attitude?




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*This post may contain affiliate links. Thanks in advance if you should decide to purchase an item through one of our links at not extra cost to you. 100% of all commissions earned from sales go directly toward providing a better quality of life for our daughter, Bethany, a brave brain tumor survivor and special girl!

If you have a minute, please check out our Amazon Store where I have put together a list of my favorite books and resources and Bethany’s favorite games and products and our Etsy Shop where you can instantly download vintage book illustrations and prints of Bethany’s paintings!

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