What Went Wrong at Sylvan Beach?

Autistic teen at Sylvan Beach, NY

We wanted to take Bethany to her favorite place in the whole wide world a couple of weeks ago but the recent heat wave  thwarted our plans!

In case you didn’t already know it, Bethany’s favorite summer destination has been Sylvan Beach and Sylvan Beach Amusement Park for years.

You may be wondering why we couldn’t take Bethany to a beach during a heat wave.

After all, wouldn’t swimming in the cool lake be refreshing on such a hot day?

Yes, you’d think so, but it’s the clothes she would have insisted on wearing when she was done swimming and ready to ride the roller coaster that would have been problematic on such a hot day.

And ultimately that is what kept us from taking her that day!

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You see, Bethany has made it a rule that she can only wear one particular outfit when she leaves the house.

And she strictly adheres to her self imposed rules and rituals.

Her going somewhere outfit is a long sleeved blue and white striped shirt and black, purple and pink flowered long pants!

Not a great outfit to wear to an amusement park during a heat wave!!

And besides, we figured the rides might also be too hot for her to even sit on!

autistic teen
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Well, anyway, last Sunday, we were finally able to fulfill her constant request and took her to Sylvan Beach!

We were super surprised when we arrived at the beach to discover that there were no lifeguards on duty or any designated swimming areas!

Never before in all the 25 years we’ve been going to Sylvan Beach has there not been lifeguards or designated swimming areas!

I must admit that I liked not having rules to follow.

It was nice doing what we wanted and going where we wanted!!

Autistic teen at Sylvan Beach, NY

So we had an enjoyable, relaxed time at the beach!

Bethany had fun digging in the sand and making sand castles.

Watching Bethany make sand castles can be a painful experience because she fills the bucket up at a snail’s pace!

But she has fun and that’s what matters!

When she was done digging, we waded into the water to cool off with Bethany’s pink noodle in tow!

autistic teen resting in tent

After spending about an hour at the beach, including resting in her beach tent for a bit, Bethany announced that she was ready to ride the roller coaster.

However, upon our arrival at the roller coaster, we encountered a problem.

While Daddy had gone off to buy the tickets, Bethany and I discovered that a little merry-go-round had been installed right in front of the roller coaster and it was blocking our usual route to her favorite ride!

She would have to walk around that darn merry-go-round to get to her beloved roller coaster.


This was a new development that Bethany had not been expecting and unfortunately, she just could not handle such an unexpected glitch.

Malcolm and I waited while Bethany laid her head down on a picnic table.

We were hoping she just need a little time to process and accept this new change.

But alas, she did not.

She finally sat up and asked to go home.

She also asked to get four hamburgers and a large water on the way home!

Thinking she might just be hangry and thirsty, we waited until she finished eating, then asked her if she wanted to go back to the roller coaster, but sadly, she did not.

So we drove the two hours back home without Bethany ever riding her favorite ride.

She now insists she will only ride the county fair rides and the Firemen’s Fair rides.

Honestly driving two hours just to spend an hour at the beach when we have an awesome little beach only two minutes from our house seems a little bit ridiculous!

So, I don’t think we’ll be going back to Sylvan Beach in the very near future.

But I’m sure we’ll try again later in the summer, especially if she asks to, because we want Bethany to have fun!

After all these years, it’s still heartbreaking and disappointing for Malcolm and I when little disasters like this prevent Bethany from enjoying herself and living life to the fullest!

I’m sharing at the This is How We Roll Link Party and The Mommy Monday Blog Hop!

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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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