Who knew going on a train could be such an exciting experience. Our 5 year old son has been on Thomas the Tank Engine for a train ride but it dawned on me recently that he hadn't been on a normal train. The main reason being that as he doesn't like crowds and people looking at him it has been something we have avoided.
Yesterday his school was shut for polling and so I took the opportunity to go for a short ride at a quiet time of day. His face was a picture as he was so excited. On the platform he jumped up and down in anticipation until a fast train went past and he hid behind me with his hands over his ears. The noise was too much for him. When our train arrived he eagerly got on and sat on my lap. He was unsure about having his own seat. As the train started to move he liked the rolling motion and asked to stand up. He spent the next 15 minutes moving with the train, which gave him great sensory input to help with his sensory processing difficulties. When we got off the train, he didn't want to explore our destination, instead we went over to the platform for our return journey and a train arrived within 5 minutes. Our son stood up for the whole way back, beaming from one side of his face to the other.
He now wants to go further on a train, so I'm contemplating a trip to London in the summer holidays. It will need lots of preparation, but unless we try these experiences we have no way of knowing how he will cope, so I will be brave and take the three kids to London. We may only get to Kings Cross Station and then return home again, as it may be overwhelming for our son with so many people around, but it will be a start.