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I'll be going to Disney World Dec 2014. I have two autistic kids and two other kids. I'm worried about the new system for special needs. Neither of my special needs kids can stand in line and one of them can't handle loud noises. What should I expect?
- Asked by Casie from OK on 10/15/2013
Being the Mom of a son with special needs, I understand your concerns. Disney World is a great place to visit for Guests with special needs including those with Cognitive Disabilities
. They have put together A Resource for Guests with Cognitive Disabilities including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
which you can find on the link shown above. This will give you a lot of things you can do before and during your trip to help it go as smooth as possible.
If your children have difficulty waiting in line, you can reduce wait times by using FASTPASS, FastPass+ or with a Disability Access Service (DAS) Card. You can obtain a DAS by visiting Guest Relations at any of the theme parks (see the link above for more information). Get one for each in case you split up at some point. You will not be required to bring any medical documentation. Your children will need to be present to obtain the DAS to have their photo taken for the cards. However, they will not need to be present to get a return time for attractions.
I'm limited in space but recently answered a question for a Guest with more details of how the DAS works
that you may find helpful.
Here are a couple of other tips from experience. If your children have any comfort items, bring them if possible. If they have head phones or ear plugs to help keep the noise level down, bring them. If they become anxious, remember the things you do at home to calm them down as keeping it familiar sometimes helps (like singing). Remember to relax and breathe. Sometimes you may just have to take a break until they calm down and try it again later.
Please feel free to visit again with questions. We're hEAR for you!
Wishing you minnie magical memories :-) Allison V.