Autism + 2yo + WDW = HELP!


#1

Our family has been to WDW many times. However this will be the frist trip where DS2 has been showing signs of Autism:eek:. We are in the process of having him tested, so I can not yet confirm that he without a doubt has it, but all the signs are there.

What I would like to know is, ANY info:huh: and help you all can offer on traveling with an autistic child. He’s easily overwhelmed in large crowds, doesn’t care much for loud noises, and gets frustrated quite easily.

I know the rides to avoid, not to go anywhere near a fireworks show, and to eat at off times…but all other tips are welcome. We want to continue going to WDW and we don’t want this diagnosis to cause either of our children to miss out on any of the fun aspects of life. So any tips, big or small, that could help our little guy enjoy himself would be very helpful:happy:.

Thanks!


#2

We travelled with our autistic nephew, and his mom (my SIL) is a goddess about planning things that make his days terrific.

We sang a lot of songs if he got frustrated. We got carryout at CS and ate together under a tree or in the shade somwhere. We made frequent trips to Tom Sawyer Island so he could have some space and run around. He really enjoyed pool time for a break.
And when we watched parades, we sat at a spot where we could move away if he was ready to go!


#3

Allears.net had a great article that I’ve shared with several friends regarding taking an autistic child to WDW. Here is the link, hope it helps.

Traveling to WDW with an Autistic Child


#4

My Nephew is Autistic and I took him last year as well as in Dec this year. Customer Relations offers a special pass In case of melt downs. We needed it a few times last year. All you do is show the CM the pass and they will allow you to use the fast pass ent. In all of my cases we were able to walk right on and this included dumbo


#5

I believe there is also a guide book that was a collaboration of the folks at All Ears and Passporter, that is aimed at special needs kids and Disney. Perhaps you could get one of those.


#6

[QUOTE=MissDisney;878592].
We made frequent trips to Tom Sawyer Island so he could have some space and run around. QUOTE]

This is a great idea! Thanks :happy:


#7

[QUOTE=DayDreamer;878615]Allears.net had a great article that I’ve shared with several friends regarding taking an autistic child to WDW. Here is the link, hope it helps.

Traveling to WDW with an Autistic Child[/QUOTE]

This really did help alot:happy:.


#8

This was my main worry. I should have known that Disney would already have something in place to help out:happy:.


#9

A guide book never crossed my mind. We’ve been so overwhelmed with this news and the hurricane that I haven’t had time to think clearly. Thank you all so much!


#10

You know your child best. You have been given good advice and many good tools here in this thread. I would say if you can anticipate any issues he might have that will help you avoid melt-down situations.

Keep the things he needs on hand and something calming for intense situations. Prepare everyone (especially other children) ahead of time what your plan of action will be if he can’t deal with any certain situation.

Most of all, try to stay calm and roll with whatever happens. Flexibility is key.


#11

I don’t know if this is listed on any of the links, but a friend of mine is going with her son (7yo) that has sensory issues. A CM told her to request a button at any of the parks that gives the CM’s a cue whenever they are assisting a character (basically a signal to not approach the child but instead approach the parent for advice).


#12

My DD is autistic also and one great tip I have read is to get headsets - like pistol range ones - for kids to wear during fireworks and loud rides. I KNOW DD will freak out during fireworks so I got her a cute pink pair of headsets, got them at Amazon and they are kid size.

Our trip is in October and I hope they work, I bet she would love the lights in the sky if she can get past the noise.


#13

[QUOTE=tea;878791]My DD is autistic also and one great tip I have read is to get headsets - like pistol range ones - for kids to wear during fireworks and loud rides. I KNOW DD will freak out during fireworks so I got her a cute pink pair of headsets, got them at Amazon and they are kid size.

Our trip is in October and I hope they work, I bet she would love the lights in the sky if she can get past the noise.[/QUOTE]

I think he may be too young to understand that keeping them on will block out the noise. Until he’s a little older we’ll probably avoid fireworks all together:frown:. But this is a great idea for later on.


#14

Well, definitely take advantage of FP, and if you’re staying at a resort, am EMH might be really handy. You can head into MK, get most (if not all) of the Fantasyland attractions done, then head back to the resort to swim once crowds pick up. You might also pack some toys or coloring books… whatever your son likes to entertain him in line or before parades and shows. I’m sure you’ll all have a great time at WDW. Have a wonderful trip!


#15

I think I will have problems getting my DD to keep them on (she is 6). She does not really care for things on her head. I got them anyway and from the reviews I have read about headsets really small kids don’t mind them. I hope she makes the link!


#16

My soon to be 7 year old DS is on the Autism Spectrum…he has Aspergers Disorder. He also has ADHD. Since 2006, we have been getting the Guest Assistance Pass from Guest Relations when we enter the park. We carry it with us for the duration of our trip. When we need it, we show the pass and are able to enter the FastPass entrance to a line, without having to worry about actually getting FPs. If there is no FastPass, they will take us to an alternate entrance. This has made trips to WDW MUCH more enjoyable.


#17

Good luck with that! Enjoy the fireworks for me too:happy:.


#18

DS has an evaluation Thursday morning with several specialists in our home. Even if we don’t get a formal diagnosis just yet I’m sure our doctor will write a letter so we can use the Assistance Pass. I just can’t imagine trying to stand in a 30 minute line with him. He would be miserable.


#19

Hope that all works out well for you!


#20

I hear ya…I did without it for SO MANY TRIPS. I never knew it was even available for us. Until my mom’s friend told me…:dry:. My son CANNOT stand still for even a SECOND. So this pass has become our LIFESAVER. We went to Hershey Park last month and they don’t offer any pass like that. Needless to say, it was a MUCH different experience. :pinch:

GOOD LUCK TO YOU!