I have a DS4 diagnosed with ASD. Sensory issues are a hard time for us, meltdowns can be frequent, and he’s been known to dart away. He can be okay with standing in lines less than 20 minutes, unless he’s having a bad day. Is it necessary for us to get a DAS card? I’m worried about the “interview” process taking up special park time, but I need to make sure DS will be able to step out of an attraction line if something becomes too much for him.
Hi my DS15 also has ASD and we also go during low attendance times for the same reasons. We also get the DAS card, which so far has worked well for us. We use it with FPP. The “interview” process was easy. We told the CM that my son might need an alternative place to wait due his neurological disorder which might cause unexpected meltdowns during long waits in switch backs lines. Since your son is only 4, I would also recommend asking them for a wheelchair tag for his stroller. This will allow him to stay in his stroller while being inline. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you. Have a wonder time and enjoy!
Thanks for your 2 cents! Is it required he use a stroller? DS2 (typically developing) will also be coming, and DS4 is the type that needs to be in constant motion, I’m nearly positive that we (parents) will be going back to the hotel for a rest and DS4 will still be bouncing off the walls in the hotel room. We’re all very excited about Disney, but we’re so unsure of how he will react. He’ll either love it (like any kid) and take it by the horns, or he’ll get so anxious (because of his excitement) that we won’t be able to do anything.
This will be his second time going to the World. The first time he went is when we actually became concerned about ASD. He had meltdowns, which is totally normal of kids his age, but he kept on walking backwards, constantly being anxious, spinning his head, and lashing out aggressively. I still remember one CM telling Chip “watch out, chip, I saw him being not friendly”. It made me want to cry right there. Sorry I’m rambling. Thanks again for the advice!
I think the stroller would be beneficial, it helps with stress levels since he doesn’t have to worry about personal space, which is a huge stress factor. Does he like the pool? When my son was younger, we use to hit the pool, which helped him relax after we came back from the parks.
I never thought about the personal space issue, good point. I wish he liked the pool, he absolutely hates it. He always says the water feels too much. We haven’t found a good way for DS4 to relax except for screen time (bad mother alert!), we will be taking his device into the park just in case he needs to escape.
The resorts also a playground area maybe he’ll enjoy that instead.
Took DS7 during 9/10 crowds last Spring Break and only used the DAS a few times. I still think it is best to have it on hand in case you do need it. That is what it is there for…to help you help him have a wonderful time.
Your bouncing boy sounds like mine, and I couldn’t talk DH into taking an umbrella stroller with us. 3/4 way into day 1, which was travel and DTD, he ended up buying one. Not so much for DS being tired, but keeping up with him was impossible. We had to confine him or the vacation would have ended early. I really truly believe he had a better time being able to take in the sights with less sensory overload because he was in a safe zone.
I cannot stress enough how much you will need a stroller for him. You don’t have to get the wheelchair tag. We didn’t need it as we used that 20 minute cutoff to know if he could stand in line (a teaching/learning moment for us).
There are several local shops that deliver and a double stroller might be a good idea.
DS loves the water, but we have very overcast days while there. The hotel arcade was a lot of fun. He wore ear plugs or head phones to avoid the loud noises, but it helped for something to do rather than the pool.
DS takes his “big phone” (aka Ipad) everywhere, so I’ll join you at the sanity table for “bad mothers”.
Poor Chip. Maybe he should get some protective gear. My DS headbutted him right in the gut and knocked him over. Dale shook his finger at DS, and I repeatedly apologized with head hung low as DH and CM helped the poor creature up. Hope this made you laugh because I can laugh now too. It happens and Chip will survive, your child will survive and you will survive.
I’d definitely get a DAC just in case … Our DS is now 21 and severely autistic but we’ve been taking him to wdw since he was 7 . We don’t always use the card but it’s good to know you’ve got in just incase !
I would get the DAS regardless of crowd levels. Key will be limiting park time since the intentionally immersive sensations of sounds, smells, sights , sensation are not reduced even with use of the DAS. Then you add in the movement of the attractions and sensory sensitive kids get maxed out.
@mrsrogo and @erinrb, I just wanted to let yall know instead of bad mothers you’re being good mothers for recognizing what your kids need and giving them an opportunity to destress and relax. Everyone needs to unwind regardless - and kudos to you for providing that. I’m sure your comments were tongue in cheek just wanted to support you and give you a virtual hug - or high five if that’s more your speed.
That’s so nice of you! Thank you for your kind words! It was tongue in cheek, but your comment is still so appreciated. I don’t know if you’re a mom or not, but if you are, then you know that moms always do their best, and it’s so nice to have support, even if it’s virtually!
Yes it was tongue in cheek. Thank you for your support and appreciation. Any time others can give any parent a little lift instead of judgement goes a long way!!!