|Nick greeted with flowers at the airport|
We found out last February that the marching band at Nick's high school was selected to represent the state of Arizona in Hawaii for the Pearl Harbor Memorial Parade. Each ship, boat, or sub that was destroyed in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941 has a representative marching band in the parade.
What an honor!! These bands are selected based on competitions. This year Nick's high school band placed third in the state competition. Tons of hours practicing. The band meets at 6am every weekday morning before school. Then they have evening practices and weekend performances and competitions. BUSY.
|Marching in parade|
Then the fundraising to get Nick there. The school had several fundraisers, volunteers asking for corporate sponsorships, and families donating. Nick wrote many letters to family and friends to help contribute to his account. So this endeavor is the result of many. MANY.
Once funding was successful, another contingency surfaced: supervision. We did not trust anyone with our child. Sensory overload, dietary restrictions, and anxiety attacks are not to be left with any adult. Mike and I had no idea how Nick would react being on a plane. Personal space and tight quarters are not easy on anyone, let along a teen with autism.
I brought this up with the band teacher, citing the IEP accommodations and modifications. The only acceptable solution was for Mike to be a chaperone. I was told that "the IEP would be taken into consideration when choosing chaperones". That did not give me any consolation. Then came the email from the band booster president that a lottery would be held to pick chaperones. I was completely on edge then.
I am not sure what conversations were held on Nick's behalf when the selections of chaperones were picked. When the list was publicized, Mike's name was on it. Relief. Now we had to come up with the funds for Mike. As always, money was not going to stop us from pursuing something that would benefit Nick. Lots of prayer and faith in that department, and the funding has materialized!!
So Nick and Mike are on an experience of a lifetime. Yes, there's a lot of "behind the scenes" that I did to help make this work. Lots of mental preparation for Nick. Not just band practice. Practice sitting in close confinement. Practice talking softly. Practice...
I think the effort is worth it. Nick's smile says it all!