Family SEEDS is a family support group that offers networking opportunities for individuals with disabilities, their parents/guardians and siblings. The Family SEEDS Fall Festival was held on Sunday, October 27 at Dream Riders of Kentucky. Tiffany and Josh Abbott attended the event with their 8 year old son, Noah, who has autism. Tiffany shared about their experience at the event on her Facebook blog, French Fries, Blue Eyes, and Autism.
A Day at the Farm
by Tiffany Abbott
Today started out pretty much like any other. I started reminding Noah as soon as he woke up of an event we had been planning on attending. We were heading to The Family SEEDS Fall Fest. I told him what time we were going. What we would do there, and when we would leave. About every two hours I would let him know how much time we had left. The closer it got the more anxious he became. “Momma I’m a little bit scared,” he told me several times.
I explained to him that it was fine to be a little scared. But, giving up and not trying was not okay. I told him how only a certain number of kids were allowed to come to this event and he was CHOSEN to attend. Finally the time came to leave. Just like with any other car ride he got in, got buckled, and closed his eyes.
This time was different for Josh and I. After a weekend of failed attempts at family outings we were feeling our fair share of anxiety. We get to the event and get out. The first thing we see is a face painting station.
“I’m NOT doing that.” It’s alright. You don’t have to.
Josh asked him if he wanted to jump on the hayride. “No. I’m NOT doing that!” That’s alright.
He spotted two ponies. He was smiling ear to ear. “Wanna go see them?” I asked, and away we went. The girl watching over the ponies asked him if he would like to groom one of them. “Yes! I wanna do that!” He absolutely loved it.
We walked inside. There was a nice sized indoor arena. It had a viewing area and there was food and drinks. A man directed us to a table to sign in. We got there a little earlier than expected and Noah was bumped up on the list to ride earlier. We explained to him that he still had about a half an hour before he could ride. We asked him if he wanted to eat. “I think I wanna do that hayride.”
Josh and I were very quietly ecstatic. We quickly led him outside so he wouldn’t have time to change his mind. He jumped right on and away we went. It was a short ride. When we were pulling back up to the event I told him we still had 15 minutes. We jumped off and one of the volunteers met us at the doors.
“Hey Noah, you wanna go ahead and ride now?” She asked. “Well, I guess so.” He replied.
He was fitted for a helmet and taken into the arena. Josh and I stayed in the viewing area. My baby boy walked in there like he had been there a hundred times. We watched as he went ‘round and ‘round that arena. He was talking a mile a minute. Smiling the entire time. When he came out he was on cloud nine. “That was amazing!” he exclaimed. “Thank you, God, for making horses!”
He couldn’t wait to tell us all about his ride on Miss Sue and what he had learned in such a short time. He wanted to sit and watch the rest of the kids take their turns on the horses. We were sitting there watching and having a great time. Suddenly, the door opened and a man asked, “Who wants s’mores?” Noah jumped out of his chair, turned around and yelled, “I do! That’s what I been waiting for!”
We went outside and hung out around the fire. We got to talk to the trainer who will be working with Noah starting Wednesday. It was the best day we have had in such a long time!
I’m so grateful to Wendell Foster and Dream Riders for putting this event on! We needed this!