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Thread: Aspergers and Disneyland... Trip planning with my 11 yr old son.

  1. #26
    Perpetual Mouseketeer mkraemer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dban3 View Post
    I love this thread. My great nephew is autistic, not to the point where he is unable to enjoy outside public activities but enough to where it severely impacts his participation in them. But he loves going to Disneyland. The idea of him going into a simplest of Fantasyland dark rides, Pinocchio, Snow White, Alice has proven out of the question, reducing him to heart-breaking tears but he is perfectly content to sit on a nearby bench with adult supervision while his sisters, brother, and parents enjoy their rides. Fireworks, Fantasmic, anything else with loud noises are equally out of the question. So what is Disneyland for him? Where is his fun, his opportunity to experience the magic? Strangely enough, it starts with the little rides of A Bug's Land in DCA and the Gadget Go-Coaster in ToonTown. These small harmless little rides are his Disneyland. Give him a chance to take a spin on Flik's Fliers or Heimlich the Train and he is all smiles and perfectly content to let others enjoy their fun.

    That's why it angers me to a certain point when people say to get rid of A Bug's Land because the simple off the shelf rides aren't really up to Disney-like standards. What those people are really saying is "I have no interest in those rides, take them out and put in something I might want to go on". Well listen up. There is a percentage of people, people of special needs and challenges where the simple rides of A Bug's Land are just fine just as they are. Disneyland park development shouldn't be left up to those with the loudest voices and deepest pockets. Sometimes people with no voices at all have just as much at stake.
    As a parent of a child with Aspergers, I have read this thread with interest, seeing how other families have coped/dealt/strategized/conquered the issues for a successful trip to Disneyland. Each one of these kids is different, functions differently, but still has the 'umbrella' of traits in common.

    The line that was the most profound in all these posts, to me, was this: Sometimes people with no voices at all have just as much at stake.

    And I believe, in the spirit of this conversation, perhaps it's those people who have even more at stake than others who don't face the same struggles.
    MaryK@CruisingCo.com

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  3. #27
    Registered User Jaxgang5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkraemer View Post
    As a parent of a child with Aspergers, I have read this thread with interest, seeing how other families have coped/dealt/strategized/conquered the issues for a successful trip to Disneyland. Each one of these kids is different, functions differently, but still has the 'umbrella' of traits in common.

    The line that was the most profound in all these posts, to me, was this: Sometimes people with no voices at all have just as much at stake.

    And I believe, in the spirit of this conversation, perhaps it's those people who have even more at stake than others who don't face the same struggles.
    Perhaps I am reading this incorrectly, but could you please elaborate. Thank you.
    Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming.......

  4. #28

    Smile Possible solution to the noise problem

    I don't have any personal experience with Asps., but I do have personal experience with having tinnitus and being sensitive to loud noises in the parks and on rides, in addition to everywhere else in my every day life. I always have a set of really good ear plugs with me in my purse, that I use in those places that are too loud for me and it's made a lot of difference. I can still hear my hubby, so they don't block out ALL sound, but that's the way that works best for me, so I can still hear him.

    Have you thought of using ear plugs or head phones for the kids who have the noise challenges? It might help to lessen the noise and help them to handle it better.

    On another subject, I thought of a place that is really cool inside on a hot day, that might be worth trying for those in search of that. For the Nemo subs, they have an alternate viewing room for those of us in wheelchairs that can't go down into the subs. It's a good sized room that's nicely air conditioned and they run a video of what's going on inside the subs on the screens in the room. There are obviously the noises/sounds of the "show", so it's not totally quiet inside, but it might be possible to ask a CM if you could go into the room and not do the ride portion of it. The worst that can happen is that he/she says no, but he/she might say yes.

    Karen W2

  5. #29
    Happiness is that smile MammaSilva's Avatar
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    As a parent of a special needs child I highly recommend the First Aid stations in both parks as a place that is quiet, cool and has a place to decompress for a time if you don't want to leave the parks and return to the hotel room. The staff are wonderful in assisting and while it's not a private room they do have curtains to provide a bit of privacy that surround a lounge type chair/bed. We've used them successfully on many trips.

    Life is too short to wake up with regrets ~So love the people who treat you right
    Forget about those who don't ~ Believe everything happens for a reason.
    If you get a chance, take it If it changes your life, let it ~Nobody said life would be easy,
    they just promised it would most likely be worth it~ remember, Sometimes Miracles Hide

  6. #30
    Registered User Jaxgang5's Avatar
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    Thanks again for all of the wonderful mentions on locations within the parks! We do plan on taking a mid-day break back to the hotel for relaxing and swimming, returning later when it starts to get cooler.

    Karen- We tried the earplugs when he was younger, but the feeling of them would set him off worse than the actual sounds did. He has for the most part become accustomed to sounds, every once in a long while he will still cover his ears.

    MammaSilva- That is great that they have lounge/beds. Very helpful!

    The whole purpose of writing about this, in this forum, was because I was surfing the web and there just wasn't much about Aspergers and Disneyland together. I'm not sure if I was typing the search engine incorrectly or what, but I am very suprised on how this 'thread' has kind of taken on a life of it's own in such a short period of time. You are all wonderful! And, I really do appreciate every single comment, suggestion and thought! If anyone else has any more tips, please share them.

    Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming.......

  7. #31
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    I don't know if this advice will help with you son, but You-tube has a lot of videos of attractions - theoretically to help with 'the unknown'. Also, I don't know if there's a DL version, but there's a WDW book that's For Kids, by Kids that may help as well. From Malcon10t's description of the bus discussion, I'd be very careful of using it unless you know of the differences, though (unless there's a DL version).

    Cathy

  8. #32
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    I don't know if this has been mentioned, but the lower level or the far back top level of Hungry Bear is usually fairly quiet, and you can watch the boats and ducks.

    Also, the benches and shaded area by the NOS train station can be a cool area to just relax for a bit.

    AS kids often have more problems with earplugs than they prevent. Its a tactile issue.

    Planning 3 trips at once...

  9. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Escape2Disney View Post
    [*]Railings Between TL and FL (Across from Matterhorn)
    A warning on this one, this is a smoking area. But there is the old boat launch with tables and chairs not that far from there. It is can be quiet, but there is sun during certain times.
    Planning 3 trips at once...

  10. #34
    Registered User MickeyDogMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaxgang5 View Post

    Karen- We tried the earplugs when he was younger, but the feeling of them would set him off worse than the actual sounds did. He has for the most part become accustomed to sounds, every once in a long while he will still cover his ears.
    I was just about to say that! My sister (Malcon10t's daughter) really does not like things in her ears. Skullcandy ear buds are a big no go. I've worked with a few Aspies and I haven't met one that likes things in the ears; it's a "weird" feeling. Covering their ears seems to work much better!


    My sister has learned signals from me that mean "stop what you are doing" and I've learned to predict when something is going to upset her.
    You drank my weights?!? ~MDM

  11. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Malcon10t View Post
    I don't know if this has been mentioned, but the lower level or the far back top level of Hungry Bear is usually fairly quiet, and you can watch the boats and ducks.
    I love that area. Being in a wheelchair/scooter in the park can sometimes being overwhelming being surrounded by people that are taller than you. I would think this would be an ideal location for a kid with Aspergers. I feel it is a very soothing area. The only drawback for a kid sensitive to sounds, might be hearing an occasional scream from Splash Mountain.
    Siggy aka Jill

  12. #36
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    A quiet place we like, can be accessed from 2 sides. Across from Splash and above the canoes is a fruit stand. If you are looking at the river, to the right of the fruit stand is a couple of steps, this path will take you past/above the splash down area curve back into the ride area for Splash (this is fun to watch, and gets you out of the crowds as well). There are a few tables back further along the path that are shady at times, and overlook the river. The other entrance to this area is the soup/salad restaurant across from The Haunted Mansion. The path walks around the right side of the restaurant and around the docking area (not the loading dock the at rest dock) for Columbia/Mark Twain. If both ships are out it will be an empty spot, but will take you to the tables as well. This area I have only found to be busy at lunch time, but early afternoon, mid morning etc, it is pretty quiet and restful.


  13. #37
    Registered User Jaxgang5's Avatar
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    Nice!! Thanks for all info!!

    Sometimes, there are times when you feel as parents that you are all alone with a particular situation. Although you know you are not alone, it is difficult to work through things because most parents don't have the same issues to deal with. I will say that for me on a very personal level, this thread has been kind of like a therapy. Knowing how other parents and persons have delt with their own situations, comparing notes and getting new ideas for an always changing person with Aspergers.

    Really, all I can say is THANK YOU!

    Just Keep Swimming, Just Keep Swimming.......

  14. #38
    At home in the hills candles71's Avatar
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    Oh, you are not alone, especially here. I don't have personal experience, but have a friend who's son is an Aspie, who asks questions about DL all the time to check changes. He is 22(ish) and good friends with my son, he comes to talk to me about DL before and after services on sundays. I know for him he challanges himself to conquer something new each trip, sometimes he has to work himself back up each trip to re do a particular ride even though he has done it before. I got to experience his conquering of Vertical Velocity at our 6 flags as he decided I was his riding partner for that ride.
    I am probably the least qualified to give advice on this issue but I wanted to say hang in there. and have a great trip.


  15. #39

    I know this is an old thread but an interesting find. We recently learned our eight year old is Aspergers. Honestly, a lot of his sensory issues now make sense. From having fears on certain rides, oversensitivity to loud noises, etc. It was considered two years ago, but I didn't see all the signs so I brushed it off. Now his symptoms appear to be worse. We spent July fourth there...trying to stay away from the crowds, etc.

    We have actually found Legoland in Carlsbad to be more his speed in theme parks but are heading back to Disneyland in a few weeks before school starts.

    Last edited by dsnyredhead; 07-08-2012 at 08:59 PM.

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