...and this year Riley joined us for the first time! Considering the chaos, noises of the city, transitions, etc...we had no idea what to expect from Riley, being autistic. After a bit of trepidation, support from his big sister, and friends helping to include him, he had so much fun - he's the little guy with the purple bandana around his neck. 
We only had one meltdown & that was when we had to leave. I tried to reason with Riley (and bribe a little?), but this transition was a huge challenge for him. I resorted to carrying him back to the car (not for much longer though because he's heavy now!) holding tight through writhing, screaming, tears, and stares. Once we got to the car and changed his surroundings, we were able to pull him out of the meltdown... with the promise of In & Out Burger. 
Enjoy my photos of an afternoon that was colorful, creative, connected, definitely joyful, occasionally hilarious, and always a learning experience with my crew.
...OH! and my friends & kiddos made the NBC news! Check out the clip at the bottom of the page. 
(I was probably hiding behind my camera)
click any photo to scroll full-sized
(my kids & friends pop up at the bottom of the screen at 0:18... and by the way, your speakers aren't broken - there's no sound ;)
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