Knott's, we've been going for years, it was and has been fantastic therapy for my boys. They learned how to stay with me, deal with crowds, waiting, and some social skills. See my boys are thrill seekers, and like the caliber of roller coaster available at Knott's Berry Farm (mom not so much in love with that part). So I sacrifice my nerves and suck it up and get on rides that scare me from seeing them from the freeway.
So if you're looking for a gift to give a family or child with autism that you may know. I would suggest a Knott's Berry Farm Season Pass. Why a season pass you ask? Well they're affordable, $90 for the entire year, with no black out dates. They have light crowds a lot of the time that make the park not the sensory nightmare some other places can be. It's a great way to get the families out and participating in the community. Knott's has stepped up their Autism game even since we have had passes the last 4 years. The disability pass lets you plan your day, and they give you boarding pass times to enter rides at the exit, which makes the whole experience possible for us. However, my children have learned to wait at Knott's and have patience, we can tolerate a 15- 20 minute line if a ride is highly preferred.
There are usually great musical performances, there are a lot of quiet places to chill or take a sensory break if need be. They have a gluten free menu in many of their restaurant facilities within the park. They're famous for their Fried Chicken and Boysenberry and since our diet is extremely limited and picky - the chicken strips at Knott's are second to none and a favorite in our family. So it meets all my criteria ;)
Knott's Berry Farm also offers Kid Track, which is a child identification in the God forbidden instance you get separated from you child, it will help them get back to you immediately.
I have found Knott's to be a life skills therapy for my two boys with autism, that has really helped them move forward and onto bigger things, that I never expected. It has rides and attractions that are appropriate for all ages, and that's what I love. This was their foundation, and stepping stones, that gave them the ability to go to the moves, to Sporting events, to small community concerts, so many doors it opened up for them. Was it easy, absolutely not? It was a place that made a lot of the success that they have now possible. For that I will always be grateful.
We started in Camp Snoopy years ago, and have grown up in that park, to now everyone being tall enough for Silver Bullet. Those were the toughest years of autism, the staff at Knott's was always helpful and offered their suggestions that would make our experience easier, and even went above and beyond in some instances.
I can't speak enough about Knott's we are there about once a month throughout the year, so we hit up all their different seasons. The fall from Camp Spooky and the Haunt, and winter for Merry Farm are our favorites, but Easter Time is beautiful in the park and Camp Snoopy has a great Easter Egg hunt.
Oh and I almost forgot the dining pass. $99 added to your season pass and you can eat lunch and dinner at the park every visit. If you're aware of theme park food, it's expensive, this is the deal of the century!
So if you're stumped on what to get a family or a child you know, this would be a gift of ability, growth, and life skills that every kid especially those on the Autism Spectrum could use.
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