Train 4 Autism Visits the #IndiansSocialSuite
A lot of things can make a parent smile and one of those is the good ol’ American pastime of BASEBALL!!! Now throw in children on the Autism Spectrum and that Baseball game could get a bit difficult. Numerous People, Sitting still, Fireworks, Loud Music, heights… the list can go on – but what can seem like the fun parts for many kids can also be a bit scary at times.
As I am an official Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon blogger I was able to leverage that relationship to team up with the Cleveland Indians and have some of the Cleveland Train 4 Autism members, that are running in this year’s Marathon events and raising money for the Organization for Autism, bring our children into the MLB famous Indians Social Suite!
First What is the Social Suite? The social suite is an area that the Cleveland Indians have created within the ballpark to bring local fans that are active in social media (Twitter, Facebook, Google +, blogs and more) to interact, give live updates, meet others just like yourself while enjoying from a Press Level suite at Progressive Field.
Its Game Day!
As mentioned above on all of the things that might be a bit scary, distracting, or awkward for those on the spectrum I could not have been more excited to have this opportunity as this would allow the kids to have an area to move about freely and provide ample activities to keep them engaged. Even though engaged was a cartoon on the TV in the suite for a while or checking the door to see if “Nacho Man” was back with nachos yet. (Nacho man was the in suite attendant that went to get us nachos and – lets just say he may have been the hit – well for about 5 minutes).
When we arrived I was told we would have a visitor. So when I heard a knock at the door I knew this was happening.
Sorry Nacho Man – you have been knocked out of Favorite person of the night. Slider came in and hung out with the kids. Funny thing about kids on the spectrum – maybe this is just my observation, but while they are socially awkward at times with those not dealing with some of their issues – when you get them all together it is almost like they can connect on a level even I as a parent cannot. Here’s the gang Chilling with Slider
Erin ( @indians ) with the Cleveland Indians got us all set up with tickets to the May 7th game against the Chicago White Sox. I was able to reach out to some of the families that are connected with the Cleveland Chapter of Train 4 Autism and put together a fun night for not only the kids, but the parents as well. In attendance were Eric and his son Nicolas, Eric McKee and his daughter Rachael, Matthew Knight and his son Charlie, Scott Miller and his son Adam, Alex Yeater and his son Mason and I brought my son Callan.
Uh – Oh Slider … I think you are being knocked out of the Favorite of the night… Sorry it’s not personal – just well this was happening now..
We also got a chance to take the kids down to the Newly opened Kids Clubhouse located on the Mezzanine level of Progressive Field. This area has everything from Batting cages for the kids to a mini wiffle ball park in which they can run the bases. One of the kids favorites was to run and slide into second.
Before I go….
Here are a few more pictures from that night…
All in all it was a great Night… The kids had a wonderful time, they warmed up to the surroundings in an environment that was conducive to providing them the time needed to get acclimated. From Nacho Guy, to Slider, to the Hot Dog race and the Kids Clubhouse – the #IndiansSocialSuite night was a true success.
More about why we run – We are running RIte Aid Cleveland Marathon Events and raising money for awesome organizations at the same time. Matthew is running his first full marathon, Scott is running his first half marathon and Eric will be running the 5k event on Saturday the 19th. Good luck to all – all three raise money for Train and the charity of choice is OAR. I will be running the 5k on saturday with Callan and my Wife Kelly and then run the 1/2 marathon on Sunday. After I finish I invite you to come visit me as I run back 2 more miles to the last water stop on the Marathon course in which we will be cheering on the finishers and raising money for Train 4 Autism and the Cleveland Clinic Learner Autism School.
Want to help at the Water Stop? Click Here.
Want to run the 5k? Click here.
Cant run this weekend but want to run a 5k – the Cleveland Clinic Learner school has a 5k on June 2nd. Click Here.
Thanks again to the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon for providing me with this forum and for the Cleveland Indians for allowing us to partake in the Social Suite – it was a night that the kids and the parents wont soon forget.
Oh yeah – one last thing – this ended up being the star of the night!