Disney World

Amy - posted on 03/01/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Hi Everyone. Im beging to plan a trip to Disney World for our family of 4, but am unsure if my almost 4yr old son, who has Autism, would enjoy the trip. We wouldnt go until Jan 2010. He has alot of sensory issues that we are working on at home and at therapy. Over the holidays, or at birthday parties he prefers to run off to a quiet room with less people, although this is getting better. Hes begining to tolerate more noise, people, etc. Im wondering if Disney World would be overwhelming to him??? Not sure about the airplane ride? Any advice? Ideas?

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Awdanis - posted on 03/02/2009

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I know it's not the same thing, but why don't you do a "dry run" taking him to a local fair or amusement park where there are some smaller rides and lots of people and you have to wait in line.  See how he does in a smaller setting and prepare him this way.   I take my son to a small amusement park in SWPA and he loves it.  He has gotten used to the environment and he can't wait for the summer to get here.  Good luck.

Cheryl - posted on 03/01/2009

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Hi! My son, who is 8 yrs old now and has autism as well had alot of sensory issues back at that age too. He hasn't ever been on a plane before so I can't give you any advice on that but the Walt Disney part I can say that he would most likely love it. I think with the sensory issues seem to be (at least with my son) more so when he is in an enclosed place, such as in the house. When he's outside I think he feels free and therefore more able to enjoy things. Inside my son still gets the same way occasionally if there is alot of noise in a room he will run off to another room but I have never ever seen him not enjoy anything that was outdoors. EVER! Enjoy your trip, he's going to have a blast.......Cheryl



I hope this will help you a little.

Jennifer - posted on 03/01/2009

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We took our autistic son when he was 8.  Even though he had gotten better the fire works still really bothered him.  He would hide his head and cover his ears!  He was really excited by the rides, but didn't want to go on even the most gentle roller coaster type of ride.  I think you'll just have to guage how he continues to progress and react to sensory issues.  I really appreciated all the "shows" to give him down time.  We also had lots of help with my parents and my brother and his fiancee it made a big difference.

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Alicia - posted on 03/07/2009

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NO WAY ! My son can't handle walking in the front doors of walmart! We tried a halloween party and he screamed and bashed.

Pam - posted on 03/07/2009

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Hi, we took a group of children with autism to disney including our twin girls, it was so much fun! You could make a story book of the parks you are going to vist, explain the rides with words and pictures (icons) like dark, scarey, loud, fun, fast, slow etc.. Take a pair of ear muffs to help with noise. Try to get pictures of the hotel, they might send you something you can make a story out of this also. Do the same for the airplane, take snacks and things you son likes to do, Let the airline know that your child has autism they are usually willing to go the extra mile for you if need be. If you want more info, let me know. I hope I helped.

Julia - posted on 03/07/2009

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We've been taking our kids to Disneyland in SoCal since our son Izak's (now almost 6) third birthday. 2-3 times per year. It seems to be the only crowded, public place where he really comes alive. He just absolutely loves it. I think it might be because he recognizes everything there and that makes him feel safe. Honestly, by the end of the day he is truly spent, and a little over-stimulated, but well worth all the laughs and smiles during the day. One word of caution: keep your child away from anything that might be scary. Izak was terrified by the Snow White ride (go figure). Be sure to pack a backpack with his favorite things that will comfort him, if needed. The advice about "guest services" and the handicap pass is genious. I'll have to try that next time. We have just been dividing up the family so that Izak is doing something else while a member of the family waits in the line, then we all "cut" close to the front. Not good for making friends. Have fun.



Julia

Janine - posted on 03/03/2009

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Living in South Africa, I dont know about disney World but I did take my 3 year old son on a plane trip and he LOVED it. He is very into all things transport as many autistic kids are so flying on a real plane was a huge treat.



 

Teri - posted on 03/02/2009

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We take our son every year to Disney, and like your son Kevin (my son) likes to be in quiet places during get togethers. It can get overwhelming at the parks but at his age I'm sure he will love it, (if it gets to be too much you can always find a quiet little area to go chill out for a while. Make sure you go to "guest services" and tell them about your child, they will give you a handicap pass for your family. You go on the rides through the handicap entrance, makes it so much easier for the little guys patience. Have a great time!!

Suzanne - posted on 03/02/2009

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We have taken our son every year since he was 4 (now 16) and he loves it.. We did have trouble with the fireworks (ear plugs are good to have on hand) and some of the more intense rides we have pictures of him with hands over ears and head down. Even with some of the sensory overload he gets right back in line to go again. Build in some down time in the middle of the day to go back to the room and relax or hit the pool, Also my son has his Game Boy and a portable DVD player for the plane ride. Have a great trip, Disney has a magical effect on our kids.

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