Top Ten: Favorite Things About Living in NYC – From The Perspective of a Special Needs Child
We announced that we were moving to NYC during James’s first grade IEP meeting in Virginia. His teacher looked at us with a straight face and said, “James will be eaten alive in New York City public schools.” Having made all kinds of annoying blanket statements like this in the past (James will never learn to read beyond sight words, James will never be able to participate in a fire drill) I should have taken it with a grain of salt. Instead, I excitedly planned our move to NYC while simultaneously dreading what was in store for James.
Now, it actually wasn’t easy when we first got here so I won’t pretend like the teacher’s claim was totally unfounded. James couldn’t go up and down stairs without a lot of help (the subway was a deathtrap) and cried every time the subway arrived (and it was really, really noisy). He also cried every time there was a birthday party or a fire drill in school, when an ambulance passed by on the street with its siren on, and for one reason or another during almost every gym class or extracurricular activity.
Incredibly, all of these things are now issues of the past (most of the time). For the sake of getting to the Top Ten list, I’ll fast forward to the present where James is doing fantastically in an amazing public school (and reading at grade level thank you very much), participating in music, soccer, basketball, softball and swimming (special needs versions), and despite some intense developmental and sensory challenges is loving what the city has to offer. In fact, I would go as far as to say that James is thriving beyond our wildest expectations in NYC – I cannot imagine a place with more to offer a special needs child.
James seems to feel the same way about the Big Apple, and seeing as how he needs typing practice for school this year (yay adaptive technology!) a Top Ten seemed like the perfect exercise for a half day. I am proud to present James’s debut post on The Foorce (or anywhere), appropriately titled:
My Top Ten Favorite Things About Living in NYC.
1. Eating sushi at Kouzan
2. Going to Wang Chen’s Table Tennis Club.
3. doing Daniel’s Music Foundation
4. taking the subway to my birthday party at Nintendo World and Lego World at Rockefeller Center.
5. Walking to Gamestop
6. Going to cool places in Times Square like the Harry Potter Experience Museum.
7. Trick or treating on Broadway for candy.
8. taking the Metro North to the New York Botanical Gardens for the holiday train show.
9. playing soccer at Central Park in the North Meadows.
10. hanging out with my friends in the cafeteria and talking to each other.
11. taking the subway to Coney Island and going on the big ferris wheel
Come on, who am I to stop him at 10 – you think I’m going to make him edit the ferris wheel off of his list of favorite things?