Thank you for this post.
I never really considered DAS for our family, but your mentioning sensory issues and anxiety struck a chord. DS14 has anxiety and hates loud noises/places to the degree that he will freeze and then start crying if startled. We used to have to whisper-sing happy bday to him when he was little and our dogs barking when he’s really calm and relaxed can set him into a anxiety attack. We have suspected for years he’s on the spectrum, but tests have not shown he is. I’m now wondering if it might be worth applying for DAS for our trip in June. He wears headphones almost everywhere and always has music playing so he can dull input from the rest of the world; he cannot use earplugs as he produces COPIOUS amounts of ear wax (we have his ears cleaned at least twice a year) and is being treated for a condition similar to eczema in his ears that gets inflamed if he tries to use them.
I’m nervous to even try as when we visited a little over a year ago, my DD16 ended up using the scooter we rented for my husband more than he did. DH has Systemic Scleroderma (Diffuse type) that has resulted in lung fibrosis and other issues, so his ability to walk distances is limited. DD was having extreme foot and hip pain due to her abnormal gait and limited ankle range of motion and at one point twisted her ankle (an ongoing problem). [She broke her right femur when she was 3 and continues to have severe issues with ankle dorsi-flexion (pulling your toes back toward your shin) that has resulted in lots of PT and chiropractic care and recent purchase of orthotics. But I digress…] When DD was using the scooter, because she is young and doesn’t LOOK like she should have issues, we got the stink-eye from several people, especially when she got off the scooter so DH or I could load it onto one of the busses. She hated the looks but dealt with it because she hated the pain more.
I suppose I’m wary about being perceived as abusing the system and feel a bit like we’d be cheating if we applied and got it. But the reality is, it is his vacation too, and if this is something that will help him enjoy his time at WDW, maybe it is worth a try…