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DISNEY! DISNEY!

Questions about special needs

Posted by on May. 4, 2012 at 5:19 AM
  • 8 Replies
I really want to take my 4 year old son to Disney. He just loves Micky mouse. However, he's autistic and there are many things I worry about. Like standing in lines ( I'm worried he'll start screaming and hurting himself) and food ( he's allergic to dairy, wheat, garlic, citrus, beans....). But I really want to let him experience diseny. He knows 5 words and two are Mickey mouse. Anyone taken a child with autism to diseny? Any tips? Thanks.
by on May. 4, 2012 at 5:19 AM
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Replies (1-8):
TommyAbby
by Bronze Member on May. 4, 2012 at 7:06 AM

I have 2 kids with Down Syndrome. They don't like waiting in lines either!

But when you go to Disney, go to guest services, bring a note from your doctor with the diagnosis. and they will give you a special pass. It allows you to go into the fast pass lanes or right on the rides. It was a life saver while we were there in Nov.There were some where we waited in a quiet back room waiting for a show to finish to go  in.

As for dietary, MouseSavers.com and AllEars.com has a list of allergy friendly places to eat. You may want to bring a small wheeled cooler or rent a locker and store a cooler there and make meals ahead of time. Order groceries and have them delivered to your room. There is a small fridge in all of the rooms now (I believe..someone correct me if I am wrong)


matofour
by Silver Member on May. 4, 2012 at 7:59 AM
1 mom liked this
Ask for a gac
It's a guest assisantance pass.
It is NOT a front of the line pass, but it can provide a seperate waiting area instead of the line, stroller as a wheelchair, you can use the handicapped line in some rides.
But, it can shorten your wait for rides (not characters). It worth getting.
And Disney is super great to kids with allergies, call ahead of time they will have it listed on every reservation you make. Many times they can make whatever you need, allergy free.
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MamaJessx3
by Gold Member on May. 4, 2012 at 8:01 AM
There is a guest assistance card u can get that will allow u to go in a separate line (smaller and faster usually). You do not have to show proof of his disability. Just tell them and they will have to see him.
Disney is very good with allergies. Even at QS places, just tell them, they have this binder that has all sorts of dietary stuff in it about their meals, and they even make special versions of meals for people with allergies. Also, you can bring your own food in too if you don't want to deal with the hassle of ordering there.
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MilissaCarden
by New Member on May. 4, 2012 at 8:30 AM
1 mom liked this
Oh boy! Thanks everyone! Is there anything more exciting then planning a trip to Disney? Only thing better is the arrival. Thanks again
Rychelle
by Silver Member on May. 4, 2012 at 8:46 AM
They have great accommodations for special needs kids!! I have info on my laptop about it from our last trip ( my 7 yr old son is hearing impaired) when I get home I can send it to if, if no one else has already :)
**** oops sorry didn't refresh the page to see people already posted about thr GAC lol****
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AnnaNonamus
by Silver Member on May. 4, 2012 at 11:22 AM
We went with my nephew, who has Asperger's Syndrome. He got a GAC which allowed us to use the Fast Pass line in nearly everything we rode. You do still need to wait in line, it just isn't as long.

One suggestion I have seen people use are strollers- it allows kids who are more sensitive to space issues a space of their own, though you do need to make sure it's something he would be willing to use from time to time. You can't use them in line, but it helps when walking through the park, as there are a lot of people.

Another thing that can help are ear plugs, or an MP3 player to help block out excess sound.

Make sure to plan a lot of down time. Disney can be overwhelming to a NT child, so it can be a big deal to a child with Autism. If your son is schedule oriented, try to stick to his normal schedule as far as meals, baths, bed times, naps, etc. Down time should be spent away from the parks, just to lessen the overall chaos surrounding him.

It may take a few days for him to adjust to the change in his routine, so be prepared for not doing as much as you might want right at first.

If things like loud noises bother him, be aware of the daily parade and fire works schedules, so you know what areas to avoid during the day.

Food wise, if you make any ADR's, make sure to mention all of his dietary needs in advance. They will have it listed With the reservation when you arrive, and they will make sure to provide food he can eat.

QS will be tackled as you order- as others have mentioned, you will need to make sure to tell them when ordering. You can bring a cooler in, but it has to be soft sided, not hard, and wheeled coolers are not allowed in. You can carry the cooler around, or rent a locker to deposit it at. This allows you to ensure that he has foods that he likes, and will eat, which may lessen some of the over all stress.
MamaJessx3
by Gold Member on May. 4, 2012 at 11:34 AM
We have always brought our wheeled cooler and haven't had a problem. I've seen other people with them too. I don't think it having wheels matters as long as it fits te size requirements

Quoting AnnaNonamus:

We went with my nephew, who has Asperger's Syndrome. He got a GAC which allowed us to use the Fast Pass line in nearly everything we rode. You do still need to wait in line, it just isn't as long.



One suggestion I have seen people use are strollers- it allows kids who are more sensitive to space issues a space of their own, though you do need to make sure it's something he would be willing to use from time to time. You can't use them in line, but it helps when walking through the park, as there are a lot of people.



Another thing that can help are ear plugs, or an MP3 player to help block out excess sound.



Make sure to plan a lot of down time. Disney can be overwhelming to a NT child, so it can be a big deal to a child with Autism. If your son is schedule oriented, try to stick to his normal schedule as far as meals, baths, bed times, naps, etc. Down time should be spent away from the parks, just to lessen the overall chaos surrounding him.



It may take a few days for him to adjust to the change in his routine, so be prepared for not doing as much as you might want right at first.



If things like loud noises bother him, be aware of the daily parade and fire works schedules, so you know what areas to avoid during the day.



Food wise, if you make any ADR's, make sure to mention all of his dietary needs in advance. They will have it listed With the reservation when you arrive, and they will make sure to provide food he can eat.



QS will be tackled as you order- as others have mentioned, you will need to make sure to tell them when ordering. You can bring a cooler in, but it has to be soft sided, not hard, and wheeled coolers are not allowed in. You can carry the cooler around, or rent a locker to deposit it at. This allows you to ensure that he has foods that he likes, and will eat, which may lessen some of the over all stress.
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patnic
by Bronze Member on May. 6, 2012 at 7:38 AM

My son is also on the spectrum.  We used the GAC.  It really was a lifesaver.  I honestly can't thank Disney enough for this pass.  It really helped my family have our best vacation ever and we are going back in October 2012.  I almost want to cry writing this.

He usually doesn't need a "fidget", but we kinda created one for him (don't ask how we ever came up with this!!), but I had a doll brush with a rubber backing.  The back of the doll brush came off, so he could fidget with it, when standing in any of the lines or in the stroller.  So maybe think of bringing a fidget too.  I also brought chewing gum for him, which helped him too.  And a sleeve of crackers.

And I did the recommendation of touringplans.com about taking a break in the afternoon.  We would leave the parks around noon, go back to hotels, swim, watch a little tv, and then go back to the parks in the evening.   The buses were kind of a pain waiting, etc, so we might get a car this time.



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