Family With Medals
  • On Mar 24, 2012
    Sabine Asked

    We're a Dutch family visiting Disney at Christmas. We've got three boys our oldest(9) has got Down's syndrom. He cannot talk, has got difficulties with transitions between situations, noise and crowds. Could you give us advice how to prepare the trip?

    First of all, Sabine, congratulations on your upcoming trip!  You guys are going to have a blast.  As for your son and his difficulties, don't worry; I think you will all do just fine, especially if you prepare him before you leave home.  You can kind of acclimate him to the experience by checking You Tube for videos of Disney attractions, shows and parades.  At least if he watches them on the computer long before you board the plane, he'll have an idea of what to expect.  While he may not vocalize anything, the sights and sounds that you expose him to will at least serve to familiarize him.  You might also spend some time watching Disney movies and reading Disney books; exposure to the characters he's likely to encounter might heighten his understanding of (and excitement for!) your trip. 

    Once you arrive, try to stick to a rough schedule.  For example, take midday breaks--if needed--to give your son a chance to rest.  Be sure to pack familiar items from home that will comfort him in a hotel room.  Any special snacks that he'd appreciate would probably be a good idea to bring along, too.  It might also be helpful to purchase a set of ear plugs; we used them for our daughter when she was younger and had an aversion to loud noises.  Above all, just go into your trip with the mindset that your itinerary can be easily adapted if it will help to soothe things for your little guy.  Relax, and have fun.  Some of my daughter's favorite memories are Disney-related.  I bet your family will be able to say the same, soon.  Enjoy!
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Meet the Panelist: Darcie, Arizona

If you're looking to plan a trip for a large party or if your group includes special needs travelers, you've come to the right mom! I'm a southeastern Arizona girl, eager to help you plan the most magical trip you'll ever take.  Learn More About Darcie

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