Originally Posted by GraemeInCanada
Have you ever tried taking him out? It's somewhat possible he may like it which may seem out of the norm because it's out of his daily pattern.
No, never taken him out. He has been on power boats, driven them sitting on my knees, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. ( What young boy wouldn't enjoy having his hand on the throttle stick of a 250hp outboard
). The problem is that was several years ago and he is unfortunately becoming less and less comfortable in leaving the safety of his house and the things he knows now days. It's not that he doesn't enjoy it, he just gets very anxious about anything that is away from a house he is comfortable in. Even a suggested trip to the beach (which he loves) generally ends up in screaming fits due to the anxiety even though he wants nothing more than to go there.
I think the only way around this will be to very gradually add the boat onto his list of safe zones. I have thought about ensuring he has his own bunk that doesn't get shared with anyone else as well as at least a drawer that is his to store whatever he wants and doesn't get touched by anyone else. As our first sailing vessel will most likely be a trailer sailer, I guess we could organize spending a few nights camping in it parked in the driveway.
Try ABC network - they do the home remodels for really worthy families. The Extreme Makeover may also do a boat for your son and the charities you are involved with.
Nice idea. Probably not for us though as
a) We don't have a boat to remodel yet
b) He doesn't need a special environment, he just needs to literally feel "at home"
He's as smart as you and I and understands danger very well. Wearing a PFD and a harness will not be an issue.