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HBTiggerFan
06-16-2002, 11:17 AM
OK, Let me start out by saying that I have done the parks many times with ADHD twins who are also quite possibally bipolar and are stirring in the alphabet soup.

But what I am now seeing on some other boards that I post on for children with diffenet disabilities (adhd, bi-polar etc...) is that they are promoting the SAPs as "front of the line passes" and get them for their adhd children, and that all they should do is bring a bottle of the kids med (ritilan, adderall etc...) and they will get a "front of the line pass". The most recent one I saw was for WDW. They were also saying how they rode the rides over and over and over again (and no note was made to CMs trying to prevent this).

I personally have a problem with parents getting a pass for ADHD children (and kids who are bipolar for that matter) and then expecting it to be a front of the line pass. Shoot, I have a problem with them getting an SAP period. And like I said at the beginning, btdt got the t-shirt, sweatshirt, keychain and shot glass.

I am not including in this group by any means autistic children or children who have for lack of better term More serious issues than ADHD or bipolar (which can both be controled with meds.)

I am also not including adults or anyone else but parents who get SAPs for their ADHD & Bipolar kids.

Whats your 2 cents?

MammaSilva
06-16-2002, 12:20 PM
I think this falls into that "can't judge it by apperance" catagory, HB Tiggerfan, you go often with the twins and so have the perspective of how their condition can be controled, ADHD/BiPolar is like every other condition, there are degrees and there are some kids that the meds barely take the "edge" off .....I don't think anyone of the regulars here think SAP means "front of the line no waiting" it just means no waiting in the ques, disturbing other guests ect...as for those parents who go in and get SAP's when their child has ADHD controlled by meds, I have to say that 'visiting the parks with your best friends younger sisters isn't the same as living with a ADHD child 24/7....the extra stim of Disneyland for their child might be more than the parents can emotionally handle .....we get SAP's every single trip but I always check the "wait" times we go on a ride we don't go back until the minimum wait time for someone in standby has past, that's just my personal way of dealing with the issue, but I too have seen people with SAP's get off/go around/get back on...I'm sure the CM's would like to say something but until Disney comes up with a 'hardcopy" policy I'm thinking their hands are pretty much tied....but the bottom line is that no matter what Disney does there will be people who find a way to "cheat" and abuse the system designed to make the visits for the "special needs" guests more enjoyable...

HBTiggerFan
06-16-2002, 01:16 PM
I understand what your saying mammasilva. I did live with the twins 24/7 (was their live-in babysitter) for 8 months. And I do understnad there are different degrees of everything. Believe me when I say that I have researched so much stuff and have so much experience in this area that I could go to work right now as a social worker w/o a degree and be as successful at it as someone with a masters.

It upsets me that they expect to get to the front of the line and forget what the rest of the pass says, then they go and promote it. I know that 99.9% of MPs membership doesn't cheat the system, but that 99.9% on here accounts for maybe .05% of the entire Disney parks attendance. The people were talking about the WDW parks.

I wouldn't feel so strongly about this particular issue if the parents got an SAP, and were actually prepared to <shocker> wait at the front where there is less stimuliation, or <shocker> ride the ride once and then do other things. THey have the entitlement attitude that is being discussed in the other post.

AVP
06-16-2002, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by HB Tigger Fan
They were also saying how they rode the rides over and over and over again (and no note was made to CMs trying to prevent this).Whats your 2 cents?

I guess for me the question always boils down to this - what happens if any specific child, (or person) is required to wait in the normal line. If the nature of that person's condition is such that they could handle the queue / wait / seating arrangements like any other person, (regardless of whether this is due to the degree of the condition of whether this is due to any medical control), then that person should not require a SAP.

If any specific person, due to the degree of their condition or due to medication, (or lack thereof), can not handle a specific line like any other person, then they should be given a SAP, (or at WDW, a Yellow Card and allowed to return at a time that matches the current posted wait time.)

When Tony is using a wheelchair, he does not require a SAP for Indy. When he is using a cane, he does. He does not ever require one for Mr. Lincoln, but always requires one for Splash. (The queue is not accessible to him on foot or on wheels). There are some things that he can't do like anyone else would, and for those things, he needs a SAP.

If any specific person, due to the nature of their condition, can not handle a typical day-long stay at the park, then, and only then, should they be issued a true "front of the line" pass, for the purpose of allowing them to experience as much as they can in the limited time they have available to them. I believe such cases are rare.

I don't have an ADHD child, and I do not know the specific challenges any parent faces when taking a child with that condition to the park. If a parent, who knows their child and is acting in the interests of that child, (and not the interest of skipping lines because they *can*), feels that their child can not handle the stimulation/wait in a line, then Yellow Passes are appropriate.

Experience with AdrienneK's son tells me that even a child w/o ADHD can have a meltdown when faced with a a huge line. I do not think that his inability to handle a 90-minute wait for Dumbo simply because he's 3 and hasn't had a nap should mean that he deserves a SAP. Parents of ADHD kids are the only ones who know if their child's reaction is bound to be different than any other kid in the same situation.

In no instance should any SAP allow someone to ride "over and over and over and over and over" again. People who ABUSE their SAPs in this manner deserve to lose them. To the people who are advocating this abuse of the system, I simply refer to Teri's statement:


there is a special place in hell for people who abuse the system, and that place is fully accessible.

It is unfortunate that these people are using their children's disability as an excuse to behave poorly.

AVP

HBTiggerFan
06-16-2002, 02:30 PM
TY Adrienne. I am getting a copy of an invalid SAP and I am going to start posting in BOLD the bottom of it where it says there may be a wait etc...

I'm not posting it on here, but on the other boards that are promoting this abuse. And don't worry, I am going to make it next to impossible to print out and re-use.

teri
06-16-2002, 03:03 PM
It is NOT a Front -of-the-Line Pass.
It is NOT a Front -of-the-Line Pass.
It is NOT a Front -of-the-Line Pass.
It is NOT a Front -of-the-Line Pass.

Arrrrrrrrrggghhh!!!

Kids with serious ADHD or bipolar disorder (I hang with these families all the time, I know the scene) may have a hard time waiting in the queues.. they may start being disruptive, bouncing off the walls, acting out to the point of really bothering other guests, have tantrums (and I don't mean melt-downs and hissy-fits, I mean self-injurious and destructive behaviors) and believe me, the parents are totally worn out by this. When those kind of tantrums happen, it takes a few hours to recover. It really ruins the day.

Should they be allowed to use the alternate entrance when there are long, touchy lines? Yes, when it is appropriate. They should use the FastPass system whenever it is available (they don't say this at Disneyland abut they should). They should EXPECT to wait, and find ways to entertain or distract their kids during the waiting time at the alternate entrance. Sometimes that waiting time will be shorter, for operational and safety reasons.

Should kids with run-of-the-mill attention issues who are a little bouncy go to the front of the line? Um... what percentage of kids have ADHD again? Should they all be at the front of the line? No, that isn't right at all. About a 3rd of the kids in the park would be at the front of the line! That isn't fair.

The parenting goal is to teach the child to cope, be patient, calm themselves, show appropriate behavior, and learn to behave appropriately in society. Glossing over that important training opportunity in the queues at the parks is a huge parenting mistake. By shooing them to the front of the line, they would be reinforcing their kids' impatience rather than training them for patience and coping.

Parents with ADHD kids and others who are hypersensitive should be finding ways to distract and entertain their kids in line whenever possible. Teach the kids important life skills and have a magical day at the same time.

dizneelover
06-17-2002, 01:19 AM
Even though I don't like that people use the SAP's as "skip the line" passes, I hate it even, but using SAP's for ADHD is fine in my opinion.

I think it is different from person to person. I have ADHD, and use an SAP for just my knee because my ADHD isn't bad because i can somewhat control it (with the help of adderall). But, I know some other people who have ADHD who go crazy if they stand still for more than 5 minutes. I think people like that need it so they don't disturb other guests in the park. It's a case by case basis but only if there is really a problem. I somewhat expect teens to try to cheat (I know some of them too, sadly) but it is REALLY sad to think parents would try to pull the same kind of crap and THEN say they are "front of the line passes". GRRR!

sorry! kinda late so I hope this makes sense

teri
06-17-2002, 07:11 AM
To be fair... I don't think you can blame people for being confused about this. I actually had an argument with an airline customer service person about this last year... she noticed my son was autistic while we were in line at the ticket counter and offered assistance, struck up a conversation. Not knowing that I know about Disney travel as I do, she started to educate me abut the "Front-of-the-line" passes and when I tried to correct her, she was sure I just didn't know about them. They are written up everywhere - all the newletters have mentioned them...

And, the first time we went to WDW on a respite trip in 1996, our doctor told us we should ask for one of those passes that puts us at the front of the line. That is the public perception. It is a system error, not a series of individual errors.

This is textbook management communication breakdown. You have a series of negative outcomes and you blame the individual participants instead of seeing how the system itself is contributing to the breakdown. Further restriction on the individuals isn't going to solve the system problem. Disney needs to spell things out with a public education campaign and clarification to the major organizations that are likely to give out this information.

Meanwhile, I guess I can add ADD to my list of reasons *I* need an SAP... :cool: ;)

MammaSilva
06-17-2002, 08:10 AM
I don't think there is any disagreement on the need, usefulness, or appreciation for the flexiablity that the SAP's give those of us with special needs, be it mobility or "invisible" disabilities, I think what everyone has in common is we are all in agreement that it is those people who abuse the system, either by 'cheating outright' ie...renting wheelchairs and using them as a way to "line jump", or the ones who get the actual SAP and then abuse it by getting off a ride and then going right back in the SAP line to ride again with no regards to the standby wait times.....the bottom line IMHO is that regardless of what education/policy/standards Disney sets there will be those who find a way to cheat, they are the same ones that lie about their childrens ages to save a few bucks at the gates of amusement parks/fairs/movie theaters because they can.....anyone who actually READS the SAP's at Disneyland will see that they are not 'front of the line' passes. Not to add more to the CM's task at City Hall but maybe if they took a minute to highlight that fine print or if they made the print not so 'fine' the perception might shift. All I know is that when it comes to vacation time Disney gets MY money because they do accomodate the multitude of issues Brandy has to deal with to enjoy her visits and they do so in a professional and respectful way that allows us to enjoy the magic

mad4mky
06-17-2002, 08:30 AM
Well...I had to hop in...(couldn't just stay out of it, could I).

While I do not condone the posting on other boards that the SAP is the front of the line pass...let them come to the park and learn that it is not. None of my business. I do get upset with people who do abuse them...as someone who DOES use one for my disabled daughter.

None of my children have ADHD...so I cannot make a comment on whether a child with such should be able to use the SAP or not.

BUT...I do know, as AVP pointed out, that at WDW they DO NOT use SAP's. Unless it has changed from when our family went to WDW in 2000...they do not use them. They will give you a slip of paper, that let's the CM know that you have a person in your party with a disability, and that they will not be able to stand in the queing area. So, you can either get a card back, stamped with the time to come back...which is what your time of queing line wait would be...or they have a designated are where you may sit and wait for the amount of time you would have waiting through the queing line....then you will be allowed on the ride. There is no "Front of the Line" passes at WDW either.

So...while you might get upset that they are posting this on other boards...once they get to the parks, they will find that this is just not so. In other words...don't believe everything you read on the internet...

RStar
06-17-2002, 09:42 AM
My son has ADHD and on occassion we use the SAP. What bothers me is that they have NEVER asked for proof. Now granted, it would be hard for some to prove it even though it is true(he only takes his medication in the morning so we leave it at home), but it allows for so much abuse. I think it would be better to have a prescription copy or doctor note on file, but that could be a paperwork nightmear. A perminate SAP would be nice. Perhaps printed on the AP or ticket.......

But what a SAP really gives someone is similar to a free fastpass for most rides. It acually slows you down at POTC.

For the record, we have never gone on the same ride twice in a row. My son wants to move on and go to the next thing, never wanting to stay in one place long.

mad4mky
06-17-2002, 09:49 AM
Originally posted by RStar


For the record, we have never gone on the same ride twice in a row. My son wants to move on and go to the next thing, never wanting to stay in one place long.

Us too...

When they did have The Rocket Rods, they would mark the time and number in your party on the back of the SAP...the CM's told us, that we could not get back onto the ride for at least another hour after this ride. That was fine with us...we move on to the next attraction anyways.

We always bring the note from my daughter's doctor every time we go...just in case. But, it's obvious she has a disability by just looking at her.:rolleyes:

Lani
06-17-2002, 10:12 AM
[Disclaimer: I am not picking on anybody personally here. This is just a hot button issue for me.]

HB Tigger Fan -- I am totally in agreement with you that a child who is controlled by meds to behave "normally" (read: drugged up into a mild stupor so they are easier to deal with) should not be given an SA pass. I think that is ridiculous, and a symptom of where our country is coming to.

Those parents who are advocating using their drugged up children as an excuse for getting an SA pass should be ashamed of themselves.

Lani
06-17-2002, 10:23 AM
Originally posted by teri
Should kids with run-of-the-mill attention issues who are a little bouncy go to the front of the line? Um... what percentage of kids have ADHD again? Should they all be at the front of the line? No, that isn't right at all. About a 3rd of the kids in the park would be at the front of the line! That isn't fair.Certainly isn't.

I am sure I will get flamed for this, but I am extremely skeptical of the majority of "diagnoses" of ADD/ADHD made by unqualified "professionals" (primarily but not limited to school nurses, school counselors, and school teachers) who then get these children hooked on various drugs (not to mention parents who would rather have a quick fix and a label for their uncontrollable children).

There is something wrong with our country that so many children (especially boys), who are naturally full of boundless energy and curiosity, are not given secure, consistent, and disciplined parenting in order to help focus and direct their energy, but instead are given drugs to put them in a mild stupor. It reminds me a lot of Cyclops (from X-Men), whose awesome power from his eyes, when not correctly controlled and focused with his glasses, wreak havoc on his entire environment.

Yes, I realize some children ARE in true need of medication, as you mentioned. But some academic journal articles suggest that at least half of the children prescribed with drugs such as Ritalin should not be taking them.*

Back in my youth, a tantrum was considered a sign of poor parenting (or lack of active parenting), not a medical syndrome.

So my argument becomes: If a drugged-up kid on Ritalin can have an SA pass because I can't control him and I don't want him screaming and bouncing in the queue (because my goodness, I would be embarassed in front of other people that my child is misbehaving, and darnit, I don't want to have to discipline him in front of people), can I get an SA pass if I'm morbidly obese and I can't stand for 30 minutes without my feet tiring? Or how about if I'm medically certified as a nicotine addict, and I can't wait in a queue for 30 minutes without going into horrendous nicotine withdrawal?

*Overuse of Prescription Stimulants for Children reported in new Duke Study (http://www.pseudoscience.org/stimulants-adhd.htm) | Ritalin: Miracle drug or cop-out? (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/medicating/readings/publicinterest.html) | Salon News: P is for Prozac (http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2000/03/21/prozac) | Drugged Obedience in the Schools (http://www.keirsey.com/druggedobedience.html)

teri
06-17-2002, 10:48 AM
Originally posted by mad4mky
[B]
BUT...I do know, as AVP pointed out, that at WDW they DO NOT use SAP's. Unless it has changed from when our family went to WDW in 2000...they do not use them. They will give you a slip of paper, that let's the CM know that you have a person in your party with a disability, and that they will not be able to stand in the queing area. So, you can either get a card back, stamped with the time to come back...which is what your time of queing line wait would be...or they have a designated are where you may sit and wait for the amount of time you would have waiting through the queing line....then you will be allowed on the ride. There is no "Front of the Line" passes at WDW either.

{/B]

Actually... that isn't correct. You are mistaken.

I have been using GACs at WDW since 1996, when we went on our first respite trip. I have been to WDW 9 times since 1996. I have had dozens of conversations with folks at Guest Services, CMs, and other families who use the system. The equivalent of the SAP at WDW is called the Guest Assistance Card, or GAC.

When you get the GAC at Guest Services, they ask you exactly what is the need, and they put a stamp on your GAC that tells the CMs which accomodation to provide. They are required to tell you that this is not a front-of-line pass and they have to get your verbal agreement that you understand that, then they check off a little box on the GAC and initial it. (Yes, there IS a Front-Of_line pass at WDW, but it is only for kids or adults who are on "Wish" or "GKTW" trips who have special permission, have gone through official channels, and have submitted full documentation to appropriate authorities.) They do discourage people from getting a GAC if they have a mobility aide or obvious sign of disability, and they don't hand them out lightly to everyone who asks. You have to plead your case. They cannot ask for medical documentation - it is a violation of privacy, and they have a liability issue.

When you get the GAC at WDW, they tell you to use the FastPass system, and to get directions from a CM at the attraction entrance. Sometimes the CMs will let you go ahead through the FastPass line if the standby line isn't very long, but they prefer that you use the actual FP system. Even if you are using the alternate entrance where there are mainstream queues - you are supposed to use FastPass, or now the yellow card system.

The only time I have ever had a time-stamp on an SAP was one time, at Disneyland, last year on Splash Mountain, and never at WDW. However, there is a new system this year which uses a yellow card, given out by the CM at the entrance of the attraction, that gives a return time for people with disabilities whether they are using a mobility aide or they have a GAC.

HBTiggerFan
06-17-2002, 05:38 PM
Read this with a grain of salt please

OK so wait, I can get an SAP for 3 reasons now, they are great reasons too! I am an adult with ADHD and I can't sit still for longer than 10 minutes w/o embarressing myself in public so I need to have an SAP. I can sit still for longer than 10 minutes but I use caffeen and nicotene to self-medicate but since I can't smoke in line and those 8 ice teas + 2 cokes really make me have to go to the restroom so I need an SAP. :rolleyes: :confused:

The third reason is the best (and true): I have a fair amount of cartiledge damage in my knee and I cannot do stairs and stand for long periods of time along with walking all over the park and still be able to walk the next day, so sometimes I need an SAP which all I request is a place to sit and/or lean for however long the CM deems necessary. I personally would rather sit somewehre for 90 minutes (the wait time) then be told to coem back 90 minutes later (lots more walking). I would rather stand in the line for 90 minutes, given access to an elevator and then get back in line. Why isn't that an option???


Yea, I derailed my own thread.:confused:

teri
06-17-2002, 06:38 PM
Maybe we should all be required to get SAPs, and then plead our case for being allowed to stand in line. ;) ;) ;) Imagine the backup at the exits... people would be begging to get into the regular queue.

Just kidding. I must be punchy, I am packing to go to Disneyland tomorrow at 4 AM. :)

In reality, the SAP and GAC are about protecting health and safety of guests with medical conditions or disabilities that are not obvious. I hope they figure out a way to keep it that way, and not turn the process into some kind of entitlement test.

Some people with arthritis would be perfectly capable of going away and walking back 90 minutes later,,, others are hard-pressed to be able to walk through the park once. Some of us really cannot stand in lines or do extra wakling without causing a flare -- and I don't mean sore knees and feet that get better when you rest, I mean a flare for which you have to take steroids and are out of commission for days. It is individual.

Having people with disabilities sit and wait for 90 minutes serves only to keep those people from enjoying that time, spending their money, being with their family. Unfortunately, even for people who would choose to sit and wait, there is no good place to do so at most attractions. That is why they made FastPass. Disney depends on people to act in responsible ways, and my belief is that the vast majority of guests do that. And, I believe that the majority of guests would do the right thing if it was explained to them.

Every day of every trip we have made to every Disney park, we have been subjected to verbal abuse and nasty looks or comments by people who see that we are using alternate entrances. I usually ignore it, unless it comes from a CM in which case they are reported. Everyone is a critic, but not one who really knows what is going on would trade lives (or kids) with me.

I think that EVERYONE needs to be careful not to stigmatize people who need to use the special accomodations. Our lives are hard enough.

HBTiggerFan
06-17-2002, 08:36 PM
So is there a way without getting an SAP to use the elevators on rides like Indy and CA Screamin instead of the stairs (what other rides have lots of stairs in ques?). If I wait in line, either via FP or stand-by, get to the part wheres the elevator and stairs, can I pop out of line while the remainder of my party waits in line, go UP the elevator and then join them back in line to go down the stairs? Or can I pop out of line to go up and then down the elevator and meet up with my party after the stairs? Is this acceptable?

mad4mky
06-18-2002, 08:12 AM
Originally posted by teri


Actually... that isn't correct. You are mistaken.

I have been using GACs at WDW since 1996, when we went on our first respite trip. I have been to WDW 9 times since 1996. I have had dozens of conversations with folks at Guest Services, CMs, and other families who use the system. The equivalent of the SAP at WDW is called the Guest Assistance Card, or GAC.

When you get the GAC at Guest Services, they ask you exactly what is the need, and they put a stamp on your GAC that tells the CMs which accomodation to provide. They are required to tell you that this is not a front-of-line pass and they have to get your verbal agreement that you understand that, then they check off a little box on the GAC and initial it. (Yes, there IS a Front-Of_line pass at WDW, but it is only for kids or adults who are on "Wish" or "GKTW" trips who have special permission, have gone through official channels, and have submitted full documentation to appropriate authorities.) They do discourage people from getting a GAC if they have a mobility aide or obvious sign of disability, and they don't hand them out lightly to everyone who asks. You have to plead your case. They cannot ask for medical documentation - it is a violation of privacy, and they have a liability issue.

When you get the GAC at WDW, they tell you to use the FastPass system, and to get directions from a CM at the attraction entrance. Sometimes the CMs will let you go ahead through the FastPass line if the standby line isn't very long, but they prefer that you use the actual FP system. Even if you are using the alternate entrance where there are mainstream queues - you are supposed to use FastPass, or now the yellow card system.

The only time I have ever had a time-stamp on an SAP was one time, at Disneyland, last year on Splash Mountain, and never at WDW. However, there is a new system this year which uses a yellow card, given out by the CM at the entrance of the attraction, that gives a return time for people with disabilities whether they are using a mobility aide or they have a GAC.

Actually...I am not mistaken...I might be incorrect about the Front of the line pass...I meant, that the average person with a disability is not going to go up to Guest Relations and get one...I didn't even want to mention "make a wish" or other special guests...I didn't think we were talking about dignataries or special groups that have been approved by Disney. I'm talking about us average families who come to the parks.
But in regards to what else I wrote...that is exactly how I was treated and was told was the policy when we went to WDW in 2000. If that has changed, since then, so be it. But this was true in my case. I was not mistaken for what did occur to us.
Now...we did encounter many nice CM's who did NOT make us wait...and let us go ahead through the FastPass line...with no questions asked. In fact, that was the norm...but the policy stated to us, was that we would have to wait in a area, with seating for those who could not stand in for long periods, and wait the amount of time the line would be.

teri
06-22-2002, 08:48 PM
The average family, or person with a disability who *needs* special assistance can request a GAC at Guest Services, outside the main gates of any of the 4 WDW parks, for the length of stay. Honest! :) They have 5 or 6 different stamps for the GAC that indicates the type of accomodation needed.

Not all people with disabilities need special assistance, and that includes most people in wheelchairs or people using mobility aids.

Most rides don't have seating or a waiting area no matter what the policy says, so the CMs aren't going to make people stand around at the exits of those attractions... it would be a safety hazard in the event of an emergency. And besides, most of them are very nice people and they know how hard it is to get around the parks when you have a disability. But, you should expect to wait.