I love my fellow ASD parents like an ASD parent loves a nap or a cup of coffee or both. These are the folks who just get it when I make a poop joke or post from the dark of my son's room while I'm waiting forever for him to go to sleep. They are all over the world. Up at all hours. My comrades in PEC pictures and social stories. A troop of Waiting Room Warriors in the trenches with me, forever waiting for their kiddo's session to be done.
I've been the kiddo's mom now for nine years and I've been "waiting" for him to get done with therapy since he was twenty two months. I've seen my share of waiting rooms and yes, to amuse myself or keep me from going insane, I rate them in my head. Call this the Zagat guide for making a kick ass waiting room. I know therapists read this. (Hello folks who treat the Kiddo!!!!)
First, let's cover magazines and reading materials. Screw TIME and other high brow stuff. Lots of copies of PEOPLE, Us Weekly and the like please. Maybe throw in a Life & Style to mix it up. I have enough serious stuff I deal with on a day to day basis. This is my one chance to escape reality for a bit and read some fluff. Considering I"m usually listening to my kiddo yelling about something during the session, I really can't concentrate on anything more in depth than whatever model Adam Levine is dating that week. Plus it's not like I can flip through these bubble gum rags when I'm in line shopping with the Kiddo. I'm usually busy containing his destruction while we wait. So do me a favor get more of Entertainment Weekly, less National Geographic.
Second, enough room to sit. I'm not leaving and most of the parents that are there aren't either. They got an hour to kill. How about some comfy seating? You know what would rock? Just clear out the chairs and throw all those crash pads and bean bags in there! Oh that would be sweet! I'd probably fall asleep but I'm sure if I didn't snore to loudly somebody might spoon with me. Pass out a few weighted blankets while you're at it. It's usually Arctic during the summer months when the AC is blasting. Oh that would be cozy.
Third, a small table and chairs for the siblings. Now I am lucky. I only have to entertain myself for an hour when I go to therapies with the kiddo but for those moms who got a sibling or two in tow, I salute you my fellow Waiting Room Warrior. You got to keep them busy in a pretty boring place. "Here kids, let's have fun waiting!" Oh and do you see how they look in those OT therapy rooms with the swings? You know they are just thinking "why can't I go in there too?" I see so many of them doing homework on the floor while they wait. Try writing on a carpet on a worksheet. Yeah, not so great.
(Side note, Therapy places. You ever think about renting those gyms out for a pizza party? I'm just saying it would be a crowd pleaser for the ASD set)
Fourth, Wifi!!! Dudes, how else do you think all us bloggers get any work done? My son's place has it! It rocks! Seriously, I wanted to kiss them on the lips the day they had a sign up announcing it! Not to mention, I know there are a lot of working outside the home parents, they need to catch up on work and most likely took time off to get their kiddo to that appointment. Spot them some internet would ya? You will have a much happier parent to work with if they got the stress release of beating that level of Candy Crush they were stuck on for two weeks and then got to brag on Facebook about it.
Fifth, parking. Ample parking. Make sure your office building has it. When my son's therapists moved to a new building recently that had GOBS more I nearly wept with joy. Cause you know all know it just takes one Mom driving a big ass SUV who can't park and screw up parking in a little lot for EVERYONE! (stay between the two lines!!!!!)
Sixth, a big huge window of your therapy room. Yep, that's right, I want to see what you are doing in there. Yes I will duck my head down from time to time so I don't distract my kiddo but dammit I want to know what's going on back there. For all I know you could be filing your nails while my kiddo spins on a swing. I'm nosy. I want to know. Not to mention it's super insightful to see how my son acts with other folks. If he's being a complete pain in the arse, I will thoughtfully give him the "wait till we get home" death stare and perhaps it will jolt some sense into him for ya. :-)
Seven, coffee would be nice. Wine would be nicer.