My 8 year old son is diagnosed autistic ASD level 2 as well as ADHD. He struggles with emotional regulation amongst other things and we have a number of supports in place through autism WA, OT, social skills classes, etc. taking him to gel blaster games however has proved to be one of the best supports for him – he enjoys it so much and this is a great outlet for him where he doesn’t struggle to regulate. It is also great to see him being physically active as before gel blasting he wasnt very interested in other sports and spent most of his free time on an iPad. From my wife and my perspective, gel blasting has been a major positive in my son’s life, and enabled him to have an environment where he is accepted and doesn’t struggle to fit in. To see this taken away is heartbreaking as he had started to come out of his shell through gel blasting. We are perfectly normal people, my wife and I are both business professionals, with post-graduate university educations, and I am also an army veteran. I say this to try and make the powers that be realise that just because we have an affinity with gel blasting and collecting some blasters, we aren’t irresponsible or the types of people who would have any criminal intent or do anything silly with our blasters. We are law abiding citizens and just feel that this whole situation could have been handled in a way that could have met the needs of all stakeholders. We understand the concerns of the police, but inadvertently the people who do the wrong thing with gel blasters are not the same people who practice it as a sport. Surely an outcome could be achieved whereby wrongdoers could be deterred or punished suitably, whilst still allowing the legitimate gel blaster sporting community to exist. There are major health benefits to those in the gel blaster community as a result, which has a flow on effect to the overall WA community.
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