I Was Nervous to Take My Son With Autism to Sesame Place, but I Didn't Have to Be


Oh, how close I came to rethinking the whole Sesame Place trip idea…

Fourth of July weekend…

The crowds…

The noise…

Elements that tend to create an intensely stressful environment for my son, Leo, and others on the autism spectrum.

Much like his mommy, Leo gravitated towards the long-running program from an early age. As an adult, I can appreciate “Sesame Street” for so much more than the entertainment it provided me as a child.

Decades of teachable moments; at its core, Sesame Street’s message is one of acceptance, inclusion, and love. Their recent autism initiative gave a platform to so many children with autism — to a community whose voices needed to be heard and whose stories needed to be told.

But the worry leading up to this trip consumed me…

Surely, it would all be too much.

I shutter at the thought of all the incredible moments that would have been lost had I given in to my own fears and anxiety.

Leo strolling through the streets of Sesame Place, happy, and confident as can be.

Witnessing the love my boy has for the Sesame Street characters we have watched on the screen for years fully expressed, as he gazed up at each one in wonderment.

pictures of little boy with autism at sesame place

I saw my baby morph into a ride warrior right before my eyes, braving a roller coaster that made my own heart leap out of chest; Leo, laughing with glee as we whipped through the sky.

This weekend, the boy who lives and breathes Sesame Street soaked up every second surrounded by the characters that help him to make sense of the world around him, and through his own perseverance, did not allow any of his challenges to detour him from experiencing each beautiful, magical moment.

I have always been fiercely protective of Leo. But I know that there are times when I need to allow him to spread his wings and fly.

Thank you, Sesame Place, for letting my boy fly.

Follow our journey on Life with Leo.

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