Autism Spectrum


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A Music Festival Expedition – Advice For Kids + Parents


My daughter heard all her friends talking about how they were planning to go to a music festival called Groovin the Moo in Bunbury. This is about 10 hours away from where we live in the south of WA.

My daughter came home very upset because she thought she couldn’t go.  

I said, “Why not?”

Then the “what ifs” and general catastrophizing started, to which I called a halt.

“All these problems we can solve.”

So we did.

First of all I got in touch with her best friend’s mum. She was relieved because she didn’t want her kids dashing off all that way on their own.

So we planned to go in two cars, taking a bunch of young people to the festival. I also bought a ticket for my son who planned to join them inside as an emergency back-up for his sister.

I got in touch with the Groovin The Moo people, and they sent a map so my daughter could familiarize herself with the layout and my children have sorted out when and where they will meet. (“Headspace” counter…look them up, they are so cool.)

So, we were all set and I was thinking …’I hope she’d enjoys it but if she doesn’t, then at least she will have had the chance to try it, and that is what I think inclusion is all about; creating  opportunities for all, leveling  the field so everyone can play.’


Groovin’ The Moo, Bunbury: How It Went

I am ecstatic to report that my daughter had the time of her life. We all learned a lot. Here are some of those lessons.

  • Before going away to something like this, make sure all homework is up to date as you will be too knackered to catch up when you get home. Don’t expect sympathy from your teachers or parents if you are behind on assignments because you went to a festival!
  • Being social for a whole long weekend will be exhausting in itself, so get plenty of rest when you can, especially before you go so you are fresh at the start of the adventure.
  • When you travel and spend time with a group of friends, it is different than being at school with them. Take advantage of the longer time to get to know them better.
  • Sometimes you may have to compromise what you want to do so you can stay with the group, or at least one other person, because in a crowded venue it is safer. This is OK as people will be more willing to be flexible with you another time.
  • If you go to an event like this you will probably be offered drugs. My daughter was asked if she was “chasing” a few times , as were her friends. They all said no in a polite way and the pushers were not rude and just moved on. It might be a good idea to practice what to say so there is no trouble.
  • Use the chill out zone, at GTM it was run by Headspace and had bean bags and phone chargers.
  • Keep in touch with someone on the outside so they don’t worry about you. Take photos but don’t waste data and credit by sending them until you are back home, so that you have credit and charge for any emergency.
  • Eat a huge brekky before you go, especially if you are old enough to drink alcohol. Food can be pricey at events like this and they won’t let you out and then in again so you can go to the nearest Maccas!
  • There were a few people who had spent their money on a ticket only to be refused entry because they were drunk  or high…pre-loading is a bad idea.
  • Having a shared experience with friends like this is so rewarding and will make happy memories for the rest of your life, it gives you a bond with your friends which will stand you in good stead in your future.

Thanks Caroline McCallum for sharing this story and photo. Great to hear it went so well!  

Read more about how Caroline and her daughter make friendships work on Our stories parent page here NB click parent tab.




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