Tips For Attending an Allen Eagles Football Game With a Special Needs Child
It’s time for Allen Eagles football! The games have already started!
Many of our families ask us, “How can we go to a football game?” After all, football games are crowded and noisy. They happen late at night, and the kids get overwhelmed. It’s all the things that scare parents about taking their kids out.
Some of the things we’re going to talk about here will apply to any event or situation, but we want to talk about the Eagles because they’re going to win this year! Go Eagles! So let’s talk about how to manage going to their games.
1. Plan ahead!
Purchase your tickets in advance. That way you have some choice in where you sit. It’s not a good idea to do things like this last-minute, if you can help it. Whenever you can, take the opportunity to have some control over the situation by planning in advance. We know sometimes things come up and you don’t have a choice. But when you can, get your tickets in advance and ask for something on the end of the aisle. That way you have easy access in and out.
Think about where you’ll be sitting. Will you be in the sun or the shade? When you buy in advance you have the opportunity to manage details like that.
2. Go early:
Parking can be difficult at the Allen Eagles stadium, because everybody goes! We recommend getting there early. You can make it a tailgating experience! Go early, have dinner, walk around the stadium. It seems to be better for our kids if the crowd builds around them, rather than them walking into a giant crowd. Walking into a big crowd is where a lot of the overstimulation comes from, especially with kids with auditory processing and sensory overload issues.
3. Leave if you need to:
If your kid is having a hard time, leave at halftime. It’s not the end of the world! Sure, we like to stay to the end but you can always listen to the radio to hear the rest of the game.
4. Nap first:
Have your child take a nap if it’s going to be a late night. That’s an old principle we used to use years ago, and not just for kids with sensory issues! This is a good idea for typically-developing kids too. If you have small children and you’re looking at a late night, give them a nap, let them rest up so they’re prepared. Also, try not to have a lot of things planned the next morning when you do that.
5. Have snacks on hand:
Make sure you’re geared up with water and some snacks. I know you can’t take a lot of things into the stadium because of vending, but if you get there early you can purchase some items from vending so that you have them ready.
6. Ask for help:
We highly recommend talking to the athletics folks where you buy the tickets. They may be sensitive to your situation and be able to help you out a little bit. We’re friendly in Allen, and our Eagles are very supportive of all of our kiddos! They do a great job of helping us out by attending many of our events!
7. Don’t forget comfort:
Dress for the weather, and bring a jacket or maybe a blanket, something that might be comforting. Also bring some activities, because you may love the Eagles, but your kiddos might not understand football! They might be excited for the first 15 minutes, and then get bored.
So like anything, plan ahead. If you end up needing to be more spontaneous, keep a kit in your car of different activities that you can pull together quickly.
We hope you enjoy the games!