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Guests with Special Needs Discuss Aspergers syndrome in the Vacation Planning forums; Hey everybody- my mom has a good friend who has a dd with AS. Anyway they are finally planning a trip for her 10 year old daughter. Me being the ...
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    StephlovesWDW is offline D-Ticket Holder
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    Aspergers syndrome

    Hey everybody- my mom has a good friend who has a dd with AS. Anyway they are finally planning a trip for her 10 year old daughter. Me being the Disney guru I gladly volunteered to help plan their trip. I can help them with almost all things Disney but as far as what the special needs are I haven't a clue and I don't want to recommend anything that most ppl will enjoy that she'll dislike. I know there are some parents of autistic children on here so please can you help me thanks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by StephlovesWDW View Post
    Hey everybody- my mom has a good friend who has a dd with AS. Anyway they are finally planning a trip for her 10 year old daughter. Me being the Disney guru I gladly volunteered to help plan their trip. I can help them with almost all things Disney but as far as what the special needs are I haven't a clue and I don't want to recommend anything that most ppl will enjoy that she'll dislike. I know there are some parents of autistic children on here so please can you help me thanks.
    The best things I did for my daughter with Asperger's Syndrome were #1-buying Passporter's Open Mouse for WDW before we left and #2-Getting a Guest Assitance Pass, though, honestly, the lines were so short on our second trip in 2008, that we didn't have to use it once!

    You have to remember that every kid is different, especially kids with an Autism Spectrum Disorder, which is what I've found out since my 5 year old daughter was diagnosed this past Fall. Many Asperger's kids don't like loud noises or social interaction...while mine tolerates certain loud noises, she can't stand others and she LOVES social interaction to the point of craving it. She must talk to every other human being (and Disney Character) we see. She also does something else I really can't explain very well, she fixates on certain things and then will not have anything to do with them saying, "I can't like it." There is no rhyme or reason, at least not in my brain, so I'll give an example:

    My husband and I took my daughter to WDW in Oct. 2008 and she LOVED rides like The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Toy Story Mania, Mickey's Philharmagic and The Barnstormer! I took her back by myself in November 2008 and she would have nothing to do with those rides and more. The first trip, she would not go anywhere near Muppet Vision 3D and I have no idea why...she loves Sesame Street, so I thought she'd love it. We even took her in to watch the preshow on the TV's, but she still didn't want to go, so we left. There was an entire day at Epcot on the second trip that she wouldn't ride anything, which was upsetting for me because I really wanted her to ride Journey into Imagination, which was closed with technical difficulties when we were there the first trip. We took advantage of the Baby Care Center at Epcot that day and I just let her go in a color and play with some toys. The man working there was really great with her and it gave her (and me) and chance to cool down after a frustrating day...though she still didn't ride anything else that day.

    My point in all that is this: every child is different, every child is unpredictable. You have to be flexible and be prepared for it. I know every parent wants their child to enjoy the things they enjoyed as a child (and trust me, they'll enjoy it's a small world) but if you push something on them, they just will NOT do it. Always have a backup plan like heading to a Baby Care Center. And pick up Passporter's Open Mouse, it has more information that I could ever give!
    I believe in Happily Ever Afters.

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    StephlovesWDW is offline D-Ticket Holder
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    OK thanks Hgraber.

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    My son has Asperger also. He's 13 now. Hgraber is right on the money. The only thing I'd add in dealing with my son is explain the ride..make her feel at ease so theres no surprise. Also if they don't want to get on it, Offer it to them again later. The next time they might be more relaxed and want to try it. Also Youtube has all the attractions on it. When I ask him to try to ride it, I show him before we go and save a shortcut to be able to see it when he wants. This worked well. He rode Dinosaur and the Haunted Mansion and Test Track. I was surprised about Dinosaur but he didn't complain about how loud it was.
    Last edited by Tmntrans; 02-16-2009 at 10:56 PM. Reason: .

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    StephlovesWDW is offline D-Ticket Holder
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    OKAY thanks Tmntrans

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    MMCgirl20 is offline A-Ticket holder
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    I have AS too and the times when I went to WDW, our family avoided parkhopping and we also got fastpasses (they have them at the rides and attractions) so we didn't have to stand in a long line because we usually went in the summertime when it got hot and me being an epileptic, heat doesn't go so well for me so we could go inside while waiting. we also didn't get a Guest Assistance Pass for me because I didn't need it! I'm on the higher end of the spectrum I could manage the only way I would have needed it was if I had a seizure right in the middle of the park.
    I went on the rides I was comfortable going on and I was fine (Although I wish I could say the same for my brother, he pitched a fit when we tried to explain space mountain to him. He's learning disabled...may have AS too idk hasn't been determined yet.)
    All i have to say is this:
    *avoid the rides your child is uncomfortable with that way there will be no meltdowns.
    *Keep it simple: Depending on what level your child's AS is at consider any other medical problems a Guest Assistance Pass can be obtained for if your child is high-functioning. If there aren't any, then you don't need one, use the fastpasses instead.
    *Pack some of the child's favorite Disney Movies: if you are on a long road trip to WDW, this will not only limit the amount of times the phrase "Are we there yet?" is heard but will help your child calm their fear of the Disney characters (if there are any)

    use these tips and you'll be certain to have a good time.
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    hgraber's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MMCgirl20 View Post
    *Pack some of the child's favorite Disney Movies: if you are on a long road trip to WDW, this will not only limit the amount of times the phrase "Are we there yet?" is heard but will help your child calm their fear of the Disney characters (if there are any)
    Great Point! For my daughter's first trip, we brought along our personal DVD player and a whole huge folder of Disney movies! She's never had any fear of Disney characters, because she's got a Disney-obsessed mom and has been surrounded by Disney since she was in the womb! Mickey (and friends) and Walt are like family members to this little girl! She actually reacts to not seeing Mickey the same as she does to not seeing her daddy who is currently "on a trip for work" with the army, if you get my drift. She'll often say, "I miss Mickey and Daddy." However, the DVD player (and her Leapster on the 2nd trip last year) really helped her on the 5+ hour drive!
    I believe in Happily Ever Afters.

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    I would echo what MMCgirl20 said- "Keep It Simple". My son has AS and is 24 years old. We never dreamed of taking him when he was younger because we knew he couldn't handle the crowds, the noise, the whole atmosphere. Now that he's older and more "comfortable" in his skin, he's actually expressed an interest in going. When we finally do go, it will be at a time when it's cooler and less crowded. We will avoid the fireworks shows and other attractions with LOUD noises. It really is all about knowing the child and their particular issues.
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    Re: Aspergers syndrome

    I am a neurovariant and have SID/SPD. The problem with us neurovariants is that there is no set of rules for us as two persons witih SID, autism, ODD, ADD, etc can react differently.

    First off you have to know her loves, quirks, and limitations. For sound sensitivity ear muffs and ear plugs help as well as noise dampening listening devices. For some autistic kids a McClaren stroller helps the kid hide in a quiet place. For younger runners a harness works well. For food related stuff you can contact WDW to handle SID related issues, pickyness, and special diets.

    Busy work is important for neurovariants. Busy minds get into trouble but when the mind has games, puzzles, chew toys, treats, and other things to keep the person occupied then that person tends to do better in public. I demolish plastic straws in restaurants so that I can cope with stress and nerves. I seen a kid who had a toy and he was happy with it and did not notice the bustle around him.

    There is a GAC for austim if she needs that to help avoid waiting.

    Disney parks are magical and I have seen breakthoughs reported by parents.
    Last edited by mechurchlady; 06-05-2009 at 11:25 PM.
    Figment and Gurgi; chocolate and coffee; and my family. I like to cook, shop, VMK, ToonTown and sweepstaking. Trivia lover but memory not good enough.

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    Margos is offline B-Ticket Holder
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    Re: Aspergers syndrome

    I have a question:
    My family does not go to WDW very often, and do not always know the proper procedures for things. My 5-year-old brother and I both have Asperger's Syndrome, and when we went to Disney, my mother got him a red tag, that allowed us to generally skip extremely long lines. However, because of his age and size, he can't ride the rides that I would like to (ie. Expedition Everest or Dinosaur... yes, I'm a daring Aspie, LOL). However, my mother believed that I was not allowed to get a tag, because I am 16, and therefore too old. I didn't want to ask a cast member myself, so I just waited in the lines.
    Could I have gotten a tag, or was my mother correct? Is there an age limit? Was just wondering.

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    Re: Aspergers syndrome

    Both me and my brother have AS, I'm 17 and my brother is 19 and he can get that Tag (we call it the Autism card) he doesn't like to use his Autism Card but there is no age limit.

    If there was an age limit it really wouldn't be fair to the mentally challenged people that are older then us.
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    Margos is offline B-Ticket Holder
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    Re: Aspergers syndrome

    Thank you! I thought that was the case! It seemed to me like it wouldn't make sense for there to be one, but I thought I should ask all the same.

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