Summer was coming to an end and the Autism Association’s Community Living Service decided it was time to make the most of ongoing fine days— get out and have fun! The Community Living service supports people with Autism to live in a shared house with one or two other people, or to live in a house on their own. They would get people together from the various houses and make sure everyone had a good day out. Chosen destination—Adventure World at Bibra Lake.
How everyone had a wonderful day!
The fun-seekers were divided into three groups, and headed off in different directions. One group went to the water and play park where the fun began—splashing, soaking each other and sliding down into the water. Another big splash! It was especially good fun getting staff well and truly wet—lots of laughter all round! The second group enjoyed a somewhat calmer, more relaxed session with a swim in the large pool. Mark and Sean really enjoyed splashing around with their house staff. As always, the Autism Association staff, mindful of each individual’s needs and preferences, would ensure that everyone had a great time, that day.
His unforgettable smile!
The third grouping was about adventure and thrill seeking. They headed off to the BIG water slides and rollercoasters. Brandon showed dare-devil skills, surprising everyone on the mat racer slides and racing against some of the girls and other guys— including staff. He loved the faster rides. One staff member, recalling Brandon’s enjoyment, said “his laugh and smile on those rides is unforgettable, demonstrating to everyone how he loved the buzz of the faster rides”. Sarah was another who really enjoyed the mat slides. It was figured she went down at least 10 times!
Helping each other
While it’s acknowledged that a key characteristic of Autism is difficulty seeing another person’s perspective, a prime requirement in all social interactions—on this day that was rarely displayed. Staff said it was heart-warming to see so many people helping each other to get in and out of the tubes; and waiting for everyone to go back up, to ride down again. However, we’re not quite sure that Kyle was being helpful when he persuaded three staff members to join him on the huge new water slide known as Kraken— an experience they’re not likely to forget. He was certainly super chilled and confident, and confidence no doubt grew by the terror on the faces of his fellow passengers. In fact, when Kyle was asked about it all later, he said: “It was an awesome day!” He liked the big ride they went on with staff the most, “it was funny and enjoyable to watch them squeal!” All in a day’s work for fun-loving staff!
Great social skills
By lunchtime everyone was ready for a rest. People met at a designated area, glad to sit down with their packed lunches. A staff member describes “a beautiful experience” with everyone joining together in conversation about what they had done and what they had especially enjoyed. Again, great social skills were displayed, with people moving around, introducing themselves to people they hadn’t met before. Mark, nominated the “social butterfly”, was active helping people to get to know each other even better!
Fun to day’s end
After lunch it was time for the dry rides—rollercoasters, bumper- boats, go-karts and more. The fun continued! Some guys cruised around the lagoon squirting water at each other (dry rides?), while the girls on go carts and pedal tram enjoyed waving and remaining dry. In the meantime, other guys were high in the sky with staff on the Sky Lift. By the day’s end everyone was exhausted. It was time to pack up and say goodbye to some new and some ‘old’ friends. The smiles on faces told that it really had been a fun day!
How a staff member summed up the day
“Everyone who attended this outing surprised us in so many ways, showing how people with Autism are often underestimated. This gave everyone the opportunity to show us who they really are and what they are capable of doing. Everyone enjoyed trying new things and making new friends.”
The outing certainly demonstrates how, with the right support, adults with Autism can continue to develop skills, equipping them well to engage in a meaningful social life. It’s all about ‘Shared Living’—learning to share in so many ways.
Zach was probably speaking on behalf of everyone when asked what he liked about the day. He said “I loved all of it.”