Legoland and Soft play clash.

Thursday we went to legoland.

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Now for those that don’t know, Dinky is massively into lego at the moment, specifically lego movie, lego avengers, lego batman and lego city. (In that order)
So a trip to legoland is like visiting sacred ground. The whole way there she was anxious/ excited.
Note : When I say Dinky is anxious, I don’t mean the, scared upset by everything anxious, dinky is more the- hyper, spinning, verbal stimming type of anxious.
Every time we had to wait for anything she was spinning, so waiting for the cab= 5 minutes spinning ( no late bus this time!). Waiting for the tickets= spinning, waiting for the train= spinning! waiting for the next train= spinning, waiting for the shuttle bus to legoland= spinning. She did get some odd looks, but I have grown used to them, and she doesn’t notice at the time.
She had lunch on the bus as it was 11.30am and I knew we would not get a chance to stop once we arrived.
As we approached legoland Dinky was so happy! All the entire bus could hear was “look a lego figure” over and over, and “dragon”, “letters!” Ect. Super excited we get in and dinky makes a bee line for the shops. So we have a look, I got her the 2 key rings she has wanted for a while and we couldn’t find before.
She saw a dinky sized lego wyldstyle, emmet, and batman, and I took pictures of her with all 3!

Then it was off to guest services to get her ride exit pass. The one at the ‘beginning’ was busy so we got on the hill train down to the other one.
When we went in, I produced Dinky’s paperwork and the lady was quite happy to issue us the card with the 10 tokens, when it came to trying to stamp Dinky’s hand we had an unusual dilemma. Dinky was too busy playing with the lego bricks in the medical room. Of course the more the woman said “come over here so I can give you the stamp” the more avoidant she became. When her speech was more immature I had to step in. I went over and helped her build the red tower and then I asked her if she would like a special red stamp so she doesn’t have to queue up while we have the tokens. Of course dinky wanted the stamp, she hates queuing.
So we got our stamps and off we went.
Dinky was running off the reins to each and every lego character!
We went over to the dragon ride, but were told it wasn’t open yet, and that it would be 10 minutes. Dinky was not happy. She lashed out a few times and then went into the shop opposite and played with the toys. I managed to get her to go on the dragons apprentice first. There was a small queue, but I took dinky to the exit and we got on for exchange for 1 token.
Dinky loved it but wanted to go on the big dragon. So we headed back and it was open. We went up the exit and there was a very small queue, the man didn’t take a token but let us on.
There was no queue when we were supposed to jump off, so dinky ended up asking them to let her keep going, they agreed as long there was no one waiting for our seats. We managed 5 straight rides on the dragon before I had to negotiate going on a new ride!
We finally came off and went on the pirate falls. Dinky said we were not really wet, so we had to go again. Which we did as again there was no queue.
Thoroughly soaked, she decided she wanted to go on the cars. We had spoken about the fact she was now old enough to do the bigger cars. She didn’t like the waiting and the constant instructions from the staff, however she found a police car and was very happy. So happy that she did not want her turn to end. We hadn’t done too badly leading up to this, the first meltdown of the day! I had to carry her off the mini roads to the horror of some of the staff and some other parents. However the mother next to the gate standing next to a Mclaren major didn’t batter an eyelid. I managed to get her to a quiet safe spot and she calmed down in time.
We went on the boats, which she steered, mostly into walls and other boats!
We went on the submarine, which she loved.
On the way to more rides she saw a lego monkey, lego giraffes, lego zebra, lego rhinos, and was one VERY happy girl.
We had a few more rides, and then the sleet hit. It was horrible, we had gone from being warm and comfortable to wet and freezing. We made our way to the imagination centre, but it was closed for schools use only. We ended up in the cafe until the 4D show started.
We had to call it a day because she was cold and irritable and I was feeling the same. However she went into complete meltdown and couldn’t explain why until she had calmed down.
It turned out she was going to miss the clutch powers 4D show.
I agreed to buy her some SMALL lego toys from the big shop. We got mini figures which she made, the lovely staff managed to feel the lego movie packet to find her a wyldstyle/Lucy figure that she needed for her collection, among other things.

More waiting at the bus stop led to another meltdown as there was nowhere to sit.

The train journey home was much the same as it was going there. We had to wait 10 minutes at one platform and dinky span the entire 10 minutes, which is normal for her, but as the train approached and she stopped and walked the few steps next to me, I heard comments about how there was no way Dinky should have been able to walk in a straight line!
On the last train dinky just started laughing for no apparent reason. Her laugh is gorgeous, and she managed to get a few people laughing too and lots smiling, a few people stood up to see where this laugh was coming from. 🙂

The next morning was a PDA coffee morning at a soft play centre. I didn’t want her to worry too much before hand, so I left it quite late to explain that we were meeting other people, but that she didn’t have to talk to them, she could go play if she wanted to. I knew at least one person was bringing a child, a girl who was 9.
We were the first ones there and Dinky was having fun, but was a little bored as there was no one to play with (boss around). When the family with the child came, dinky was happy to play, and they both seemed happy to play together in their own way. Unfortunately this didn’t continue. Two children with PDA in the same place trying to exert control was always going to end badly. It was Dinky who was the aggressive one as neither of them could agree and dinky was unable to hold in her frustration. I tried to talk to dinky about it, I reinforced the rules about hitting the best I could, however at this point I may aswell have talked to the wall, as she was in no mood to listen and process what I was saying. I felt bad for the other child as she did not strike Dinky once, but she was smacked and jumped on.
I did however talk to dinky about it later in the day when she was calm. She did understand that she shouldn’t hit, but said she couldn’t help it, she just got mad. These conversations never end well as she doesn’t have the ability to explain how she feels, and she just gets frustrated at both her inability to explain and that she can’t help it when she lashes out.

It is a hard thing to parent. She knows she was wrong, and punishments just are not effective for a child with PDA.
Hopefully in time she will be able to control herself better.

Today has been a more chilled out day. She has played for a while on her scooter, and has been very calm and relaxed.

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7 thoughts on “Legoland and Soft play clash.

  1. loving the new page layout. Pleased to hear that you had such a good day out at LEGOLAND by my goodness it is so much hard work for you to continually cope with Dinky’s needs on your own. You really do deserve a medal xxxxx

  2. Thanks, I wasn’t sure about the layout, but I was bored of the old one!
    Lol, not medal worthy, but it sure is hard work.

    We have days where she is happy to immerse herself in her Lego world and only needs me for short periods throughout the day and brushes off my attempts at joining her, but mostly she wants to go out to places and that means public transport, which more often than not leads to very high anxiety, if not complete meltdowns.
    While we don’t have the level of meltdown we used to have when she was at school, we still have almost the same frequency just dialled down a bit.

    I think I will be a little relieved come September, its not that I don’t Love spending time with Dinky, I am just not sure I can cope with the very limited support I have for much longer than that.

  3. Hi there – I’ve read many of your comments on Jane’s blog, but this is the first time I’ve been able to squeeze in a visit to yours — to see PDA through the behavior of another child who must cope with it.

    It was interesting to note how naturally you dealt with the stamp issue — and how wonderful that LegoLand at least tries to understand and support children who simply cannot wait in line. I have heard nightmare stories from my associates with ADD/Asbergers children about when they were small and their parents took them to Disneyland. One melt-down after another!

    I can’t imagine being a single mother with a PDA child – do you have time for a life of your own at all? I’m sure blogging is cathartic, but it’s not exactly tripping the light fandango, is it? I second Jane’s comment about your deserving a medal!

    My best to you,
    xx,
    mgh
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • Hi, thank you for visiting my little blog.
      Legoland are brilliant, as are chessington world of adventures.

      Erm, no lol, my life is PDA/autism, and fighting to make sure Dinky gets the right support, the only time I see other adults is at autism support meetings! But then I’m not exactly a social creature myself.

      Thanks again and kind regards

      Dinky’s mum 🙂

      • Well, you had to be a little bit social once upon a time or there would be no Dinky, right? 🙂 I’m glad you do get out to see adults at autism support – you sound like your are a great Mom (Mum, as you say on your side of the pond). I think God knew what he was doing when he sent Dinky to you.
        xx,
        mgh

      • Well yes, but I am not any more, I don’t know how much of that is me and how much of that is the isolation having a child with PDA brings. It is not like any of the mums at the school gates want a chat with the kid who is always excluded, and now she isn’t in school. I do not miss socialising and frankly I’m too tired for it! Lol

        Thank you for your kind comments, however I assure you I have days where I do all the wrong things!

        X

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