A few years ago, the Austin City Council looked at removing the splash pad at the downtown Butler Park. I wrote an impassioned letter to each City Council member begging them not to do this because splash pads, unlike pools, provide my son some “cover” for his pacing and flapping and talking to himself. Thankfully, some improvements were made to the Liz Carpenter Fountain at Butler Park and it was reopened.
The reason I like splash pads is because all the kids are doing activities at a splash pad that look like pacing, and screaming and flapping, thus, my son’s autistic tics and irregular movements are not as noticeable, and we can enjoy some relaxing time without getting stares. At pools, we get some looks and the occasional comment. Plus, I have to keep a tighter rein on him in a pool, so he doesn’t get too close to someone and make them uncomfortable. So, I’m not in love with public pools (although the price is right.)
Thus, my love of splash pads. Austin has many more now than it did a few years ago, see them llisted here, and you can find them all over town. But in my opinion, there’s not a better view from a splash pad than the Liz Carpenter fountain at Butler Park downtown.