Thank you so very much for sending the pictures of Reid in his pizza wedge pose. He hasn’t wiped the smile off of his face yet, though he did shed some big old crocodile tears when he said goodbye on Friday afternoon!! Frankly I don’t know that we have any suggestions for improvements to the program. It was such an overwhelmingly positive experience for all of us and more than we hoped for. Whistler Adaptive Ski/Ride has found two new advocates in me and Dave! I have already sent an email out to a couple of Autism and ADD/ADHD distribution lists I belong to extolling the great work and people we met in the last week. We will be back in July to experience Whistler in the summer months and have already reserved time for next spring as Whistler has been an annual trek for us since before Reid was born. Now we are looking forward to it even more. Thank you again and we look forward to working with you folks again in the future! If you need testimonials or want to use Reid’s smiling face for any literature, please feel free to do so.
Thank you so much for the special day you provided for our Erikaa up at Whistler. You all get 10s! From our first contact until you brought Erikaa back to us in the lodge, we were so impressed with your program. You were professional and kind and Erikaa loved it. She was completely taken with skiing and has definitely found a new love! Now that Erikaa is smitten with skiing (because of the amazing experience you provided), we plan to ski frequently so that she will have a sport she can share with the family. I have already shared details about the things you did with her with her therapists and everyone was delighted.
For my two-cents' worth, we give you a 10! As you well know, there are a lot of unknown variables in bringing a special needs skier to the snow for the first time. Your program was ideal for addressing Bryan's concerns and ours. Bryan was able to take part in what most of us were doing in Whistler - skiing or boarding. His experience with your program was empowering and confidence-building for B, and (as usual) inspiring for the rest of us to watch. As far as recommending your program to others, my next emails are to B's OT and PTs. We'll share the pictures with them next week. I'm sure we'll be talking about this trip forever. Thank you for everything.
First of all, I'd like to thank the Whistler Adaptive Program for giving us such a great experience, although I don't think our bodies were quite prepared for it! I definitely will be recommending the program to any of my deaf friends who plan to go to Whistler. The Instructor was very knowledgeable about the mountains and knew where to go, which definitely made the experience a lot more enjoyable and less stressful. I have been skiing since I was 3 years old and have touched many mountains in the United States I can say without a doubt that Whistler is definitely at the top of my list of places to ski and the Adaptive program definitely had a hand in ensuring it's place on the top of my list.
Thanks to everyone for the kind words about Robert. He said that it was the best ski vacation he had ever had, and he loves that fact that he can now brag to everyone about going down two black diamond runs. Your instructors were wonderful as always, but I have to say that Susan was amazing. She completely understands what it means to be blind, she is fun to be with and she is an excellent teacher. Wow! She completely won him over on the first day. Thanks for everything.
I'd like to thank you for helping Josie to achieve such a wonderful accomplishment and have so much fun in the process. The fact that Josie is now able to ski after only 5 days of lessons is so wonderful and has really boosted her confidence. I have to say it's even spilled over into other areas of her life. In her swimming lessons this week she was trying things she wouldn't do before and I really feel she's become much braver and willing to try new things after having such a positive experience with her ski lessons. In fact, I'm going to sign her up for another lesson the next time we're at Whistler and on a scale of 1-10, I would rate the program as 10. I've already been telling our friends and family about it and especially some of my friends who have children on the autism spectrum. Thanks again and hope to see you soon!
A 10 would be an understatement. Claire, who is typically only semi-demonstrative, when asked before bed that night if she had a good day (without skiing being mentioned) said with a huge grin, “I LOVE Whistler Mountain”. We are bringing her back in March (hoping you can fit her in) when we come for four days, and can’t believe our luck in finding out about you guys early in her life rather than later. We heard about the program from a neighbour of the grandparents who has a 17 year old child with autism. We were delighted ABSOLUTELY and so was Claire, apparently. Thank you SO much for all your efforts. The photos will shortly be blasted around the world to all the relatives along with a note on how wonderful all the staff on the mountain were with us.
Rachel has truly enjoyed every day of skiing in the past 3 trips to Whistler. She is often not one to enjoy physical exercise. I do not remember once in the 3 trips that she did not reply enthusiastically when asked if she enjoyed the day and the instructors. She also has been as vocal about wanting to go to Whistler again as my other two children. With regard to making a recommendation I not only would rate the likelihood as a 10, but have actually told several people about it, including my daughters educational support team.
First of all, thank you so much for the pictures. We were all really excited to see them and Clarice brought copies for show and tell at school. On a scale of 1-10, I would highly recommend (10) the program. After her lesson, Clarice would always come back with a huge smile on her face (and the few times I observed her from far during the day, she looked really happy and in excellent and safe care). I am glad her first experience with skiing was such a positive one. I feel comfortable that she learned the basic mechanics and etiquette of skiing and am looking forward to going out skiing with her. I appreciate the time the instructors would take to describe the day, especially since Clarice is still not able to communicate. All of the instructors were very professional, attentive and genuine. We would love to do the program whenever we are in Whistler next (maybe next year…). Thank-you
We all want to say a big thank you for the excellent time we had in Whistler with the Adaptive Ski School and all the volunteers. Honestly the whole week could not have been any better. Freddie really enjoyed his skiing AND snowboarding. Everyone who helped Freddie was really great with him - full of encouragement and help. We were really impressed at how well the volunteers handled him and didn't stop at anything as far as making things easy for him - just loads of little things that all add up to making everything run smoothly (especially for us!) - and as you can see Freddie had lots of fun as well as learning new tricks!
Anyone who has the patience and skills to help these special needs children learn to ski are really exceptional in our view. I think the big plus point from a parent's point of view was your ability to "take responsibility" for the child. We really felt he was in safe hands and it gave us a fantastic break to go and enjoy ourselves as well. You were also very flexible allowing Freddie to switch back and forth between snowboarding and skiing which I could see was causing a lot of extra work for the volunteers in terms of organizing their own equipment as well as Freddie's. However, the volunteers always gave the impression of "nothing is too much as long as Freddie is having fun" and this was so refreshing.
Freddie got a lot more skiing/snowboarding time on the mountain than he has done in the past. I think this was largely attributable to how well the volunteers "paced" him and also we noticed they put a lot of effort into avoiding him having to "waste energy". For example the walking around to get from A to B was minimized and they even took him on a skidoo to get him up to the magic carpet which was a great new experience for him. Sheree and James always helped him along the trails either giving him a booster push or pull and I noticed did lots of little things like making him a seat in the snow so he could sit for a bit and rest on the side of the slope and a seat on the magic carpet when he was learning to snowboard (what luxury!). This I think made a big difference to his stamina and also his overall outlook on things!
Also you did a great job of matching the volunteers to Freddie - he really looked forward to who he would be skiing/boarding with the next day - and having the same core people for a couple of days during the week really made him feel "one of the gang" I think. And it wasn't just the skiing, the volunteers also did a great job of keeping "Grandma Nina" entertained over lunch at the Roundhouse everyday!! Thank goodness for the "reserved seating" area which Grandma could find easily to meet Freddie at lunchtime - along with the other 21 members of the family that drifted in and out!! The other thing that I enjoyed was when Sheree took me on a quick tour up the peak chair after lunch one day as I hadn't been up to the top. I'm sure this wasn't part of the official adaptive program that day but I really enjoyed it and we met back up with Freddie and James to ski down the mountain together.
Since being home I have heard Freddie talking to his friends from school about his "heel edge and toe edge which was much harder, and how snowboarding is more scary than skiing but more FUN! It's certainly been a great experience for him, given him a big confidence boost and lots to talk about. Really, I would be struggling to find anything much to improve on. The hut on the mountain was ideal as a good meeting and resting point. The check in point itself is in a brilliant location - you couldn't get any closer to the Gondola's and then there is that place that sells those sausage rolls nearby!! Freddie needed those for breakfast!.
I have attached a picture or Freddie learning to snowboard and one from lunch. They were reading out Freddie's fortune from the fortune cookie (which we don't have in the UK) and it said "You will obtain your goal if you maintain your course" - so he stuck with the snowboarding for the rest of the day! So once again a big thanks for everything - the expertise, the fun and the overall friendliness of everyone who helped Freddie during the week. I will certainly be recommending it to any other people I know with disabled children/adults interested in skiing. I'm sure we will be back again very soon!