Home > Top Ten > Top Ten: Favorite Things About Living in NYC – From The Perspective of a Special Needs Child

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?



  1. November 19, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    this is surprisingly reflective of my own NYC top ten 😉

  2. Mel Kontos
    November 18, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    Excellent job, James! What a great list!
    Happy Thanksgiving!!
    Mel Kontos

  3. Edward Gerrity
    November 16, 2011 at 10:44 am

    Great job James! Proud of you!

  4. Joveria
    November 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

    Great list James!!!

  5. November 15, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Hi James from Lima Peru – I loved being with you on that first ferris wheel ride where we sat together. It was BIG fun. Your top 10 is tops with me. Love Grandpa

  6. Brandi
    November 15, 2011 at 5:34 pm

    Yeah for James!! We are so proud of you!! I knew mrs. M could be kind of a downer!! Glad you’re loving and excelling in NY!! The boys miss you and ask about you often!

  7. Rachel
    November 15, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I love this!

  8. kathryn reilly
    November 15, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I love this blog! thanks Michaela and James!

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