We prepared with a social story and activity schedule. We talked about choices and behavior. We sang songs and watched videos and got excited. And then it was time. Time for the preschool visit to the farm and pumpkin patch.
I have to say I dreaded this a bit. Last year we made the decision to take only Emma to the pumpkin patch because George's behavior there is usually not the best. He loves, loves, loves the tractor-pulled hayride. He hates, hates, hates getting off of the tractor-pulled hayride. But we were going, this year, with his special needs preschool on a cold, foggy school day. The perfect group to be with and probably not a day filled with crowds. So, George, Gramma, and I plowed through the fog to the farm.
We started by feeding the goats. That went fairly well for about 3.5 minutes.
Then the tractor went by and it was meltdown city. The crying continued until we loaded onto the (wet) hay and headed off to the field. Getting off the tractor started the crying back up, so we quickly grabbed our teeny pumpkins and loaded back on to the wagon to wait for all the other kids to finish. Luckily, we weren't the only ones more excited by the ride than the pumpkins. The wagon filled back up quickly!
So, better than previous years, but I think we'll stick to taking Emma separately so she can enjoy taking her time. However, it was good for George to experience this with such a great (and understanding) group, they stuck exactly to the schedule set up in their social story and it went like clockwork!
Later, there was a Pumpkin Hunt at his other preschool. Teeny, tiny pumpkins hidden throughout the playground were found within seconds!
Afterwords, all the parents and siblings stayed for their closing circle and singing time. This was the first time that George not only didn't need/want to sit in my lap instead of with his classmates, but he participated and sang along!!! HUGE progress for my little guy!
A very full, very fun day. Now we're off to Gramma & Papa's for pizza, then George and I are going for our Wednesday night swim! Whew, I'm exhausted!!!