We are hoping today to visit July Fest in downtown Binghamton. This annual celebration features art, crafts, and, for the second year, a jazz festival.
This year, also....the Magic Paintbrush Project!
This is exciting news. It can be difficult for people with disabilities to participate in a street festival. Noise, people...not the favorite thing for people with autism. And, if you are a family with a young child with autism, you have to try to balance the needs of your special little one with those of your other family members.
Just as a small example: there is a booth with homemade soap. They are works of art, and the owner of the booth is quite friendly. But the scent: someone with autism would be able to smell it from quite a distance away and to them, it might not be pleasant. The sensory life of someone with autism is not an enjoyable one; they feel and smell at such an intense level it can be totally overwhelming to them-which leads to tantrums or a behavior called stimming. Stimmng will certainly bring attention, unwanted attention, to the entire family.
It is so difficult for siblings (and it doesn't get easier when they grow up; trust me!) but they can be together at the Magic Paintbrush project. When the member with autism can get involved in something like this, perhaps the next time a festival rolls around he or she will associate it with good memories. It's always worth a try.
If this is your family, please stop by. You'll be so glad you did.
It's worth the trip to downtown Binghamton.