With two of their three children on the autism spectrum, a typical day for Jessica Crea and Mun Larimer can be full of boisterous sounds and activity. A day at a Metro Park brings a sweep of tranquility instead.
“The kids love coming to the parks,” Jessica said, as the three of them played at the Cedar Ridge play area in Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park. “I don’t know if it’s the wide open spaces or the beautiful fresh air, but their moods and behavior are different at the parks. They’re quieter, more stable, even a little more responsive.”
Jessica stays home with the kids and takes autistic brothers Aries, 5 and Orion, 2, to weekly therapy. Orion also has hydrocephalus and required surgery for cysts on his brain at just 7-months old. As he played on the swing beside her, Jessica said, “Just look how happy he is. This is what the parks do for him.”
Their 6-year-old sister, Aurora, played nearby as Aries and Orion had fun on the swings. Notice the astronomical theme to the kids’ names yet? Their father’s name, Mun, is pronounced Moon.
Mun grew up near to Battelle Darby Creek and first came to the park when he was 2-years-old. He likes to bring the kids to Battelle Darby Creek every couple of months or so, even though they’ve lived on the other side of town for many years now. They all like to see the bison and walk to the creek. The family also visits Blendon Woods. The natural play area is their favorite stopping point.
Jessica has a 16-year-old son, Dominic, who is also on the spectrum, with Asperger’s. The whole family gets together at the parks whenever they can and everyone benefits from the peace and tranquility.
Make a day at the parks a regular visit for your family too. We’re only open every day!