Every year when Sara’s birthday rolls around our family has a big celebration.  This year we had a family wedding and camp started the weekend of her birthday. I was looking for something good to do but a big party wouldn’t work with all of the other obligations. The birthday event for this year was found when Sara saw “Big Time Rush Summer Tour” advertised on TV. This is Sara’s favorite boy band. Jamie, Sara’s respite worker, would be glad to go with Sara. Jamie searched all the BTR summer dates and the boy band would be coming to Bethel Woods right before Sara’s birthday. This would make the perfect birthday event. I ordered the tickets and  had to keep the “secret gift” quite for weeks. Sara was thrilled when she found out what her birthday gift was going to be.

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In order to safely take Sara to a concert I was going to have to do a little more prep work than some of the other fans. Sara cannot stand in the sun for long, so check, I brought an umbrella to keep her in the shade. She does not regulate her body temperature well so a blanket and ice packs are included in my backpack. The blanket could double as a place for Sara to lie down if she had a seizure. Extra medications are packed if needed. Bethel has great food and drink concessions but Sara diet is very restrictive and she might not be able to wait on long lines for food. Off to Washingtonville’s T & M Deli for her favorite, macaroni salad, and some sandwiches so we could tail gate our dinner.

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Jamie’s sister made awesome BTR t-shirts for Sara and Jamie. The girls made posters. Sara met two of her friends before the concert so Jamie and the girls could “hang out” before the show. We had great box seats. Victoria Justice came on before BTR. Sara could not have been happier. After a little bit of prep, and a little bit of worry, we had a great evening. Everything went so well. I can’t wait to go to Bethel Woods for the Arts again next summer or even earlier to a winter event.  Sara’s favorite part of the concert was when the crowd would scream. My favorite part of the concert was when Sara would smile.

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The staff at Bethel Woods was great to us. If you want to bring a concert fan with special needs there you will find handicapped parking, wheelchair accessible sidewalks and bathrooms, great seating, and plenty of staff available to help with any other accommodations. There is more information on their web page for bringing friends and family with special needs at: http://www.bethelwoodscenter.org/visit/accessibility.aspx.

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