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Answered Question - Disney Parks Moms Panel

  • My family of 9 will be visiting the parks the week of Nov 23rd. My grandson is autistic and we were wondering if there are any special things available to him and the family. Also, what documentation do you need from us as confirmation of his condition?
  • - Asked by Darlene from California on 9/28/2013
  • Hi Darlene!

    Being the Mom of a son with special needs, I always try to plan ahead because I know from experience to expect anything. Disney World is a great place to visit for Guests with special needs including those with Cognitive Disabilities. Disney has put together A Resource for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) which you can find on the link shown above. This will give you a lot of things you can do before and during your trip to help it go as smoothly as possible.

    If your Grandson has difficulty waiting in line, you can reduce your wait time by using Disney FASTPASS Service, Disney FastPass+ Service or with a Disability Access Service (DAS) Card. You can obtain a DAS by visiting Guest Relations when you visit the first theme park of your trip (see the link above for more information). You will not be required to bring any medical documentation regarding his condition. Your Grandson will need to be present to obtain the DAS to have his photo taken for the card. However, he will not need to be present to get a return time for attractions. There is no way my son would understand why we walked up to Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin and be turned away. That would cause a meltdown that may end the day in the park for us.

    Here are a couple of other tips from experience. If your Grandson has any comfort items, bring them if possible. If he has head phones or ear plugs to help keep the noise level down, bring them. If he becomes anxious, remember the things you do at home to calm him down as keeping it familiar sometimes helps (like singing). Remember to relax and breathe. Sometimes you may just have to take a break until he calms down and try it again later.

    Please feel free to visit again with all of your questions. We're hEAR for you!

    Wishing you minnie magical memories :-) Allison V.
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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.