Pal is for Adults with Anxiety or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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Videos foreshadowing what to expect & tools to support transitions and communication once there can help adults suffering from anxiety & PTSD.

Anxiety disorders are the most common disability in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.

Just like kids with disabilities, there are many adults who get anxious when they venture into public places that they have not visited before. The unknown can be quite frightening. In fact, a wide range of anxiety disorders all share one thing in common: feelings of apprehension that are triggered by the unpredictability of ambiguous threats. When we do not know what to expect, we get anxious.

When visiting new places, anticipatory anxiety in adults can be mitigated with Pal Experience’s know-before-you-go resources that break down exactly what to expect at Pal Place establishments.

As just one example, a woman who was new to the Valley was asked to meet a friend at a Diamond’s Back game but was super nervous about it. “I confided to my parents that the idea of encountering a big crowd while navigating my way to a huge ballpark that I was unfamiliar with was creating crippling anxiety for me,” she said. “My mom told me about Pal Experiences. I watched the Arizona Diamondbacks Pal Video and used the digital guide once there. Pal’s tools helped me to feel a lot better about where to park, where to enter, and the whole process.”

Did you know that 8% of Americans will have PTSD at some point in their lives? About 8 million adults have PTSD annually. After experiencing a trauma, it is common for individuals with PTSD to become anxious and startled by certain triggering experiences. When visiting Pal Places, our resources can help this population feel comfortable.

“A father once approached me at the Arizona Science Center. His daughter had autism and they had watched the Arizona Science Center Pal Video before they came,” said Melanie Isaacs, Pal founder. “He was so grateful to learn that the weather simulator had a rumbling floor and loud thunder. He was a veteran who suffered from PTSD. He said that if he hadn't known about those stimuli, he likely would have had a triggering reaction and the family would have needed to leave the experience.”

Pal is for Parents of a Child with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

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When you can ensure that your child has a pleasant experience, you have one, too.

Parents experience higher levels of stress when caring for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), particularly due to their children’s emotional and behavioral challenges. During a public ‘meltdown’, parents are often judged by an uninformed society as not coping with the demands of being caregivers. The potential for a negative event to occur and to have attention drawn to themselves influences parents to avoid public outings with their family all together. More than 70% of families impacted by disabilities report feelings of isolation.

Pal Experiences prioritizes inclusion through Pal Places – community establishments offering resources to help families prepare for any potential stimulus that could overwhelm a child with IDD. Whether the child becomes anxious over new experiences, has difficulty communicating, or is sensitive to stimulus, Pal Experiences is helping the community improve the way that people with IDD are included. When families know what to expect, outings run a lot smoother, resulting in a positive experience for not only the child, but for the parents. Plus, just by showing up, you’re showing the world that everyone gets to go.

We’re not just here for the kiddos. Pal Experience’s resources are for adults suffering from anxiety and for parents of children with IDD. All it takes is one great experience at a Pal Place to gain confidence to continue on the path towards inclusion in the community. So, what are you waiting for? Put our tools to the test and plan a visit to a Pal Place!

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