Atlantic City Adventure

The black car (plus kayak) at the Atlantic City Convention Center A family packs up and moves so their son, their very special son, can be near the waves that he's so drawn to, near the ocean.

It certainly sounds like our family. Charlie has always seemed in his natural element when in the water and, in particular, in the ocean. He is, as my longtime blog-friend Mom-NOS once wrote of her son Bud, a water-based boy

The "boy who makes waves," for whom–in love of whom–his family is leaving Iowa behind and seeking the ocean, is a young man named Michael, as his father, Joe Blair, writes in the October 9th New York Times.

“I love you,” I say. It’s a profession. It’s also a self-rebuke. 

“Love,” Mike says a few minutes later. “I love you. Love you. I love. I love you. You.” 

After Mike seems to be done with his response, I ask, “How would you like to live by the ocean?” 

This brings a big smile. He is looking off. Away. At something far. The words wave and wave. “Ocean,” he says.

Nothing like the ocean: Oh yes.

Saturday we loaded up the car, complete with kayak. We were headed to Atlantic City, where I was scheduled to speak at a panel on working with the media at the annual AutismNJ conference. Jim figured that, while I was at the conference, he and Charlie could go for a kayak ride as we'd be down at the Jersey shore and casinos and outlet malls aren't exactly to Charlie's liking (to mine or Jim's either, to be quite honest).

Saturday started with an overcast sky and the wind blowing. After driving about a half-hour on the Garden State Parkway, we heard a whumpf sound from above and beheld the front end of the kayak sliding across the roof, and towards the back, of the black car. One of the bungee cords securing it had come loose (and is now in little tiny bits somewhere on the Parkway). We pulled over and rearranged the remaining bungees and got off at the next exit, where Jim bought six more bungees and strapped the kayak onto the roof of the black car with all of them. We got back on the Parkway and several exits later, Jim and Charlie dropped me off at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

The kayak after Jim secured it with 11 bungee cords Jim and Charlie headed back north up the Parkway where Charlie communicated a big nope to going into a rest-stop. Jim got them hot dogs and did a radio interview about his book with WBAI in New York. I'd suggested they just come right back and get me and we could all head to the water for the kayaking—-the day had already had more than its quota of too many unusual things going on, not to mention that it was a little distressing to almost lose the kayak (and cause an accident) on the Garden State Parkway. 

But after Jim's interview, he and Charlie proceeded to the beach and experienced (it was a windy day) choppier conditions than usual. At one point (as Jim related to me), Jim was paddling as fast as he could with Charlie calling on him to go faster with the waves lapping on the kayak's sides, but it just wasn't gonna happen. Their journey back in the water did prove easier, propelled by the wind and waves.

My panel on the media was in the second to the last time slot (the conference had been going on since Thursday). Still there about 15 people in the audience at our panel and many with questions and comments. Bobbie Gallagher (two of her children on the autism spectrum) and I both spoke about our experiences interacting with the media. My main point was "the media isn't there for you, it's there for itself; figure out your own message and make sure you get it across, whatever questions they ask you." 

Bobbie and I had had similar experiences with the mass media, especially in regard to reporters seeking primarily to emphasize (and sensationalize) "how awful life raising an autistic child is," rather than seeing our kids as they are, and on noting all that they can do and learn. Both of us talked about how we'd learned to get our own message about the need for better services and education for our children across, vaccines and other "controversial topics" be d*****d.  I described some of my past experiences interacting with the media and talked more than a bit about blogging. I saw quite a few people whom I knew and, when they asked how things are, said they are (because they are) great. Just this thing called school……..

Jim and Charlie picked me up before 6pm and we headed back up the Parkway.  Determined to find a certain fish place we've visited in the past that has really really good food, we drove in circles for a bit. It was nearing 8pm when we got our takeout, but I rather think the long wait made everything taste better. Charlie checked out what was inside the styrofoam containers and then opted to eat when we got home.

He was certainly very glad to be home. And so another good time was had by all; such is life with Charlie (especially when we're near the water).

For sure, if there's one point I always hope to get across to the media, that is it.

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Comments
5 Responses to “Atlantic City Adventure”
  1. Kate says:

    Yikes! Busy day and flying kayaks – you guys need these:
    http://www.napaonline.com/NOLPPSE/(S(a0qdu5552czbkfimeljwew20))/Detail.aspx?R=SCCCC3870_0006404476
    Ratchet tie downs are an offroaders best friend : )
    Kate

  2. That must have been scarey with the kayak moving back on the car. Did Jim do the radio interview in the car? I remember first reading about Bobbie Gallagher after Nick was diagnosed in 1998. Did not realize she went into the Special Ed field.
    Do you have a copy of your powerpoint you used or presentation?

  3. autismvox says:

    Jim did the interview in the parking lot of a resttop off the GSP……….. I think it went well. I remember reading about Bobbie Gallagher and seeing the photos about her kids years ago too. They are in their late teens now. She’s an advocate and consultant who focuses on verbal behavior.
    I can send you a copy of the presentation or upload it here—-it was very modest and I drew a lot on my webpage and blog.

  4. Linda Sullivan says:

    After a marvelous adventure nice to hear your family is safely home,

  5. autismvox says:

    Oh yes; Jim was interviewed by Sandy Boyer and there was a live stream on Saturday afternoon!
    It was marvelous and magical—and we all took it easy on Sunday, by necessity and happily.

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Atlantic City Adventure

The black car (plus kayak) at the Atlantic City Convention Center A family packs up and moves so their son, their very special son, can be near the waves that he's so drawn to, near the ocean.

It certainly sounds like our family. Charlie has always seemed in his natural element when in the water and, in particular, in the ocean. He is, as my longtime blog-friend Mom-NOS once wrote of her son Bud, a water-based boy

The "boy who makes waves," for whom–in love of whom–his family is leaving Iowa behind and seeking the ocean, is a young man named Michael, as his father, Joe Blair, writes in the October 9th New York Times.

“I love you,” I say. It’s a profession. It’s also a self-rebuke. 

“Love,” Mike says a few minutes later. “I love you. Love you. I love. I love you. You.” 

After Mike seems to be done with his response, I ask, “How would you like to live by the ocean?” 

This brings a big smile. He is looking off. Away. At something far. The words wave and wave. “Ocean,” he says.

Nothing like the ocean: Oh yes.

Saturday we loaded up the car, complete with kayak. We were headed to Atlantic City, where I was scheduled to speak at a panel on working with the media at the annual AutismNJ conference. Jim figured that, while I was at the conference, he and Charlie could go for a kayak ride as we'd be down at the Jersey shore and casinos and outlet malls aren't exactly to Charlie's liking (to mine or Jim's either, to be quite honest).

Saturday started with an overcast sky and the wind blowing. After driving about a half-hour on the Garden State Parkway, we heard a whumpf sound from above and beheld the front end of the kayak sliding across the roof, and towards the back, of the black car. One of the bungee cords securing it had come loose (and is now in little tiny bits somewhere on the Parkway). We pulled over and rearranged the remaining bungees and got off at the next exit, where Jim bought six more bungees and strapped the kayak onto the roof of the black car with all of them. We got back on the Parkway and several exits later, Jim and Charlie dropped me off at the Atlantic City Convention Center.

The kayak after Jim secured it with 11 bungee cords Jim and Charlie headed back north up the Parkway where Charlie communicated a big nope to going into a rest-stop. Jim got them hot dogs and did a radio interview about his book with WBAI in New York. I'd suggested they just come right back and get me and we could all head to the water for the kayaking—-the day had already had more than its quota of too many unusual things going on, not to mention that it was a little distressing to almost lose the kayak (and cause an accident) on the Garden State Parkway. 

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Comments
3 Responses to “Atlantic City Adventure”
  1. autismvox says:

    thank you! the 11 bungees worked really well—the kayak is still atop the car.

  2. autismvox says:

    Jim did the interview in the parking lot of a resttop off the GSP……….. I think it went well. I remember reading about Bobbie Gallagher and seeing the photos about her kids years ago too. They are in their late teens now. She’s an advocate and consultant who focuses on verbal behavior.
    I can send you a copy of the presentation or upload it here—-it was very modest and I drew a lot on my webpage and blog.

  3. Synesthesia says:

    WBAI still exists?
    I used to love that station when I was in NY.

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