3500: An Autistic Boy's Ten-Year Romance with Snow White
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
Benjamin, a nine-year-old autistic boy with a love of Disney, was taking his first trip to Walt Disney World. The last thing his parents expected was to see him come alive.
What followed was a remarkable tale of inspiration, heartbreak, dedication and joy as Benjamin's family relocated from Seattle to Orlando in order to capture that magic and put it to practical use. Amidst the daily challenges of life for an autistic child, Benjamin's passion for one particular theme park attraction would lead his family on a breathtaking journey of hope and discovery.
How many rides does it take for an ending to become a new beginning?
Cory Doctorow, New York Times best-selling author of Homeland, Little Brother, and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom writes:
"Brimming with heart and tragedy overcome, this is a book that captures the tribulations of parenthood, the magic of Disney World, and the wonderful online communities that allow us to lend aid and comfort to strangers around the world."
Kevin Yee, author of Epcot: The First Thirty Years: An Unofficial Retrospective, and Walt Disney World Hidden History: Remnants of Former Attractions and Other Tributes writes:
"...it's a good book, the kind all of us should be reading. It's the kind of book that transcends its supposed subject matter and becomes about everything else that matters in life and love; the kind of book that makes you better for having read it. Above all, it's a book that addresses emotions straight on. The father's emotions, Ben's emotions, and even our own emotions as readers...
...Ben's final ride is a touching one that resonates deeply of parental anguish and reward. I won't spoil the details for you, but you should seek it out."
weekend he spent four hours on Friday and another four hours on Saturday in the swimming pool. I just brought a book and sat by the pool for hours on end while I watched him have the time of his life swimming. I was a little bit shocked that he hadn’t actually grown gills by the end of the weekend. *** An unusual Wednesday afternoon with Ben in mid-May, and something truly astonishing happened: for the first time ever, I played catch with my son. It sounds like such a trivial thing looking at
regularity, and when he was awake he was like the Energizer Bunny – just going, and going, and going … It simply never ended and a full night’s sleep was an exceedingly rare treat. I began to sink into depression and the cracks in our marriage grew. It was a matter of "too much, too soon" for a relationship that had not had enough time to build any real foundation. By the summer of 1995 there was at least one ray of light. After more than a year of working part-time minimum wage jobs to scrape
Unfortunately, where we had found public schools to be perfectly suited for Ben at the grade school level, we soon discovered that the middle school experience was entirely different. Ben was miserable there, did not like his teachers at all, and spent a great deal of time trying to escape. Since his classroom happened to be right on the bus loop, on more than one occasion he even attempted to climb out the classroom window and make a run for the street in front of the school. To make matters
him in any way at all. How can he not be well past the point of collapse? That was the same day Ben had his first PICC line installed. A PICC line, or peripherally inserted central catheter, is essentially a more durable IV that has to be installed via a short surgical procedure in which a small flexible tube is inserted into a peripheral vein in the upper arm and then pushed in until the tip of the catheter is all the way into the chest near the heart. The procedure, which lasts about 30
through the alternate entrance at the same pace as us. At one point I noticed another mom with an autistic boy who was only a year or two younger than Ben. This boy's entire demeanor reminded me so much of Ben, the hand flapping, the huge smile, the big hugs. He was having a great night as well, and his mom was rightly proud. On one ride while Ben and I were sitting in the second row of the mine cart, the guy in the front row turned around and introduced himself as Kevin Yee. He started to