Help Needed

This is  my 12-year-old son, Isaiah, who will be attending his very first comic con in 18 days in San Antonio.  While this should be a time of excitement and preparation, it is actually a time of anxiety and stress. You see, Isaiah is Autistic (Asperger’s to be specific). He doesn’t do well with uncertainty, and Comic Con is definitely in the realm of the unknown.

 

I am Iron Man

I am Iron Man

10448690_10203252074916106_952876089549838775_o Look what I got at the library Mom!

Look what I got at the library Mom!

What a haul!!

What a haul!!

 

 

Isaiah’s particular form of  Autism makes him hypersensitive when it comes to fitting in. He knows he’s supposed to have friends and be part of a group, but he doesn’t quite get all the social cues and nuances. So, Isaiah often feels isolated and is often made fun of for his interests. Isaiah loves comic books and fantasy, but we live in a small town where not many, if any boys his age, are interested in the same things.

Therefore, I am asking people out there to help me ease his anxiety by sending us pictures of their Comic Con experiences so Isaiah will know  what to expect from his experience at Comic Con. I want Isaiah to know that he is not alone in his interests and that Geek is the new Cool – that it is always better to be yourself.

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12 thoughts on “Help Needed

  1. Anxiety and autism can be a difficult road to haul. Instead, focus on positive things. Preview the attendance list for your “must-see” special guests. Highlight and scrapbook memories from photos or sketch journals. Expect a LOT of walking, so identify the food courts and washrooms well in advance. Follow your schedule, based on other competing events. Hopefully, these tips may help Isiah do well…and be sure to check-out Face Value Comics. We’re the first comic to FEATURE a hero with autism.

  2. Hi Wendi! Would love to help. Is there an email we can send photos and letters? Also, maybe we can arrange a Skype with some Wizard World volunteers who can answer your questions? I have an autistic nephew and one thing that has helped him is to look at images of the people he will meet beforehand–so maybe show Isiah some common cosPlay images online???

  3. So I saw your post and I wanted to reach out to you. Unfortunately , I don’t take many photos at conventions anymore since I’m always too busy working at the various comic cons in my area as a volunteer. What I love about comic cons in general, that’s it’s a safe place to let your inner geek out. When I was asked why I go to Star Trek Cons and comic cons, the answer is very simple- it’s that place where everyone in your room is into the same things you are- it’s kinda like going to a football game of your favorite team. You met people around who all love your team, some fans you will see all the time at other events and others you meet just once but it doesn’t change you all love rooting for your favorite team. It’s the most accepting place for anything geek related.

    I will have to say, each convention company can be a little different in the lay-out and idea.

    Wizard World is a huge convention and will encompass many different things and movies. Where the tips by David are spot on- have a plan before you enter the con. There are apps and schedules online. First you will register to get your wristband- again another time you don’t want to remove the wristband until you are done. There will be panels in one area, then there is the main hall. The main hall will host the artist alley, the autograph booths for each celebrity, photo-ops and vendor’s area. Artist alley- where the comic book artists and other artists will be selling their work, talking to fans and etc. Each star will have specific times for photo-ops, panels, and autographs- some are more limited at their booth while others will be at the autograph tables each day for the whole time period. Make sure that you have cash on hand for things to purchase since credit card readers will be rare and only at select booths (however there are ATMs around the convention hall). I will spend all my time in the main hall. It’s totally cool to ask the fans dressed up to take photos with you- in fact that makes a cosplayer’s day. There are so many neat costumes. Also for autographs- people will have photos for them to sign that are included in the ticket price and some stars might charge a little extra to sign something different then the photo on the table. The volunteers are in yellow shirts and will be there to help answer any questions that you may have.

    Another company to look into is Creation Entertainment since they are much smaller conventions that are centered around a specific fandom in general. First you register and will receive a wristband and a badge depending on what type of seats that you receive- don’t remove the wristband. I would recommend getting a gold or silver package since it will include autographs and assigned seats in the main room. What’s also great about these events are that you get too make friends with your seat neighbors and really see the same people year after year. There you will be a ballroom listening to panels by celebrity stars, trivia games, cosplay contests, and auctions from that particular show/movie, you literally don’t have to leave the room much at all except for food, bathroom and photo-op breaks. For the autograph tickets, you do need to have something for them to sign before you get up to the table. The schedule gets posted online the week before but there are paper copies on hand. There is also a small vendor’s room by the ballroom where you can get some great souvenirs.

    • Thank you, Kathy! I will be on the lookout for the volunteers. We got the VIP tickets which will also allow us on the floor 30 minutes early. I am very excited about introducing Isaiah to the various Fandoms and letting him connect with people that share his interests.

  4. Hi there! Do you live close to the con or are you staying at a hotel? I have not personally dealt with autism before but as someone who has been going to cons for years now, I always appreciate having a quiet place to go and take a break from the crowd. I try to stay at an attached hotel to the convention center, but if you’re not, maybe you could scope out a small restaurant or even quiet space within the convention center to take a over-stimulation break 🙂

    • Finding a quiet place is definitely a must. We will drive in every day for the Con. Hotels nearby are too expensive, but we don’t live far. I bought a full weekend pass so we don’t get overwhelmed by trying to do it all in one day.
      🙂

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  6. Hello! I came across this post via Wizard World’s twitter page. I’m a huge fan of Wizard World and their comic cons. I’m 25 and have suffered from depression and a social anxiety disorder for nearly 7 years now. Conventions are overwhelming but it’s like swimming – you take a deep breath and dive in. And when you reach back to the top? You feel glorious. Conventions are the most fun I have all year, I try to go to one every few months, and I would reccommend them to anyone and everyone – especially you and your son! I included a few links to my Facebook albums from a few comic cons I’ve attended, I hope they work and I hope you check them out! Show your son how much fun they are and I hope you guys wind up having a blast!

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200318089657289.1073741838.1305600030&type=1&l=1988d5ed28

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4541856906903.1073741826.1305600030&type=1&l=350536965b

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201689385058817.1073741844.1305600030&type=1&l=3e6c89fa5e

    https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10201957391598813.1073741846.1305600030&type=1&l=441341f1d8

  7. Pingback: Isaiah Unmedicated | cleverlyquaint

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