Mom and daughter on Expedition Everest
  • On Feb 24, 2012
    Darren from ON Asked

    My son who is 3 has Autism. Last year when we were at DW, my son experienced breakdowns when we exited attractions. ASD is a communication disorder, he has troubles understanding" lets go and we'll come back!" Going back in May, any suggestions?

    Hi Darren,

    Many families with children on the spectrum report that Disney is very user-friendly for their special kids.  I'm proud to say that I'm one of them.  My son had a lot of difficulty when we exited attractions when he was three.  He constantly said, "again, again," and didn't understand that we could come back. It became very stressful.   I completely understand your concerns.  We made sure that we had a Guest Assistance Card so that if he really wanted to ride again, we wouldn't have to wait very long.  (You can obtain a Guest Assistance Card at Guest Relations at whichever park you visit first.  Explain your son's needs, and you'll be issued a card that enables your family to access attractions through an alternate entrance, with a much shorter wait time.)  In an effort to ensure that we weren't riding the same attraction over and over, we made "deals" with my son.  We'd let him ride his favorites two or three times (maximum) and then tried to move along. I found that letting him know ahead of time that he could ride twice, alleviated some of his anxiety. I also tried showing him a park map with our "next" attraction pointed out and asked his help in navigating there.  Giving him a "job" helped distract him from feeling like had to ride over and over.  

    I hope some of my suggestions help  your pirate.  Feel free to write back with more specific questions, and I'd be happy to share my experiences.
    I hope you have a wonderful trip.
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Meet the Panelist: Tanya, New Jersey

I am Tanya from FL, full-time mom to two fun-loving boys. I have an array of planning tips and believe I offer a unique perspective on how to make Disney an amazing adventure for individuals with a variety of needs and abilities. Learn More About Tanya

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