Meet the Harris Family! Steve and Lisa are the devoted parents of Nathan and Autumn. They reside in Greenfield, Massachusetts and came out for a day of winter fun at Wendell State Forest.
"Our son Nathan," says Lisa, "has autism and severe sensory issues, so we thought we'd just expose him and work up to making it fun for him and the family over time. The outcome was quite unexpectedly the best day that our family has had playing together as a real family unit."
"Not in my wildest dreams," she continues, "would I have thought we could have done anything on the ice as a group. However we were all able to get on the ice, sled skate, and play hockey together!!!! We had a great time! We were even able to have some rare family photos taken with all smiles! "
"Another activity I never thought we'd be able to do as a group was snowmobiling. Nathan enjoys all things motorized, so I thought we had a good shot at this. Once loaded and on the trails, I looked back to see everyone smiling and Nathan, looking with saucer-shaped eyes, putting his two little mittens together signing 'more'. "
Your family can enjoy winter fun in the outdoor too, in a supported recreation program if needed. DCR's Universal Access Program offers three dates in 2010 at Wendell State Forest: January 30, February 13, and March 13 from 11am - 3pm. Call All Out Adventures at 413-527-8980 to register for a day of fun that will include snowmobile rides, ice skating, sled hockey, snowshoeing, cross country skiing and kicksledding as conditions permit. Other outdoor winter programs will take place at Mt. Tom State Reservation in Holyoke, but if you really want to snowmobile, plan on coming to Wendell!