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  • I have a son with Sensory Processing Disorder (similar to Autism) who can become easily overstimulated with all the people, noise, attractions. We are staying on disney grounds and cruise. What tips do you have for traveling with special needs children
  • - Asked by Jenelle from Wisconsin on 4/11/2012
  • Hi Jenelle!

    My nephew also has Sensory Processing Disorder and becomes overstimulated with crowds and loud noises. 

    The wonderful thing is that Walt Disney World does an amazing job at accommodating the needs of all guests. My first suggestion is to obtain a Guest Assistance Card (GAC) when you arrive by visiting Guest Relations and explaining your son's special needs. It will help if you have a doctor's note as well. The GAC is helpful to have throughout the parks, as you can enter the attractions via a special entrance in case your son is having difficulty waiting in line or having sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights.

    I also recommend viewing fireworks from a remote location, away from the crowds and noise. Your son can enjoy the view of Illuminations without the loud sounds at Disney's Boardwalk Resort. You can walk the boardwalk, enjoy salt water taffy and enjoy looking at the fireworks. A great location for viewing Wishes the beach at Grand Floridian Resort. 

    Many parents have also said that bringing earplugs from home works wonders for allowing their child to enjoy the attractions and experiences without become overwhelmed with noise.

    Visit the independent (not Disney owned) site allears.net for more great advice from other moms on traveling to Walt Disney World with a child with Sensory Processing Disorder. There are so many positive experiences and wonderful suggestions.

    I hope you have a magical stay!

    Magically,
    Stacy
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Panelists have received/will receive a Walt Disney World Resort, Disney Cruise Line, Disneyland Resort or Disney Vacation Club vacation for panelist and up to three family members and/or park tickets for their participation on the Disney Parks Moms Panel. The views expressed in the Panel are those of the panelists, who are independent contractors. These views are not intended to reflect the opinions of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online, its affiliates, its management, its agents or its employees and have not been reviewed or approved by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Online prior to posting.