I'm not going to bore you with a lot of details of our trip. Basically, we had a ton of fun, and went on a lot of rides. Because of Stephen's physical challenges, I rented a stroller to be delivered to our hotel, and thank goodness I did! That place was huge! We also had it tagged as a wheelchair, because we know he would not be able to stand in long lines and just wait there without wanting to be picked up, and he's just getting a little too big for that. That was also a good decision for all of us, I think.
This coloring picture is a BIG DEAL! Stephen really struggles with holding things smaller than a thick marker, and in the past was not able to use enough pressure to make a good mark. Also, he hasn't really ever enjoyed coloring, so having him do this voluntarily, even though it was only for a few minutes, was impressive.
Stephen was absolutely thrilled with most of the characters that he met. Stephen loves characters, and he's such a cuddly guy, so it was perfect for him. With the exception of Mickey, Mike and Sully, Stephen met all of these characters at Character Meals, which kept us from having to wait in too many lines. He also went on pretty much every ride for which he met the height requirements, and was especially thrilled with Test Track in Epcot - a super fast and smooth car ride. And then of course there were the teacups...
Overall, we had a really great time. It rained quite a bit on Thursday, thanks to Tropical Storm Andrea, but we soldiered on in the parks anyways - the rain cleared out quite a bit of the crowd, so that was pretty fun too. While there, Stephen discovered a new love - Star Wars! He went on Star Tours 4 times, and we plan on watching the movies throughout the summer. He also made excellent use of his "talker," letting us know when he needed a snack, or when he was tired (that one was a first - normally he'd just pass out during an activity rather than admit he was tired), and communicated verbally a few times too. We only had one glitch while we were there; we ordered a gluten-free pasta meal at a nicer restaurant, and they made a mistake and brought out something that was not gluten-free, which affected his behavior pretty significantly. I guess this settles our questions as to whether or not his improved behaviors over the past 18 months were due to maturity, or diet! So, we had a great time, and hope to go back in the not-too-distant future!!