Travelers with ASD
Travelers with ASD, helpful information
Here you will find helpful information for families & guests traveling with someone with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to Disney World and other Orlando theme parks in Florida including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom, Disney Water Parks, Universal, Sea World and more. We believe that Orlando Vacation Homes is a wonderful type of accommodation for families and guests who may have ASD. We are proud to be your travel resources Family Vacations.
- To prepare your child for a new and interesting experience, it is helpful to show your child visual images of the theme park. You can show them brochures or web pages describing what the park has to offer. Talk with your child about what to expect. In addition to rides and attractions, there may be music playing, there may be crowds, and there might be lines. There will be places to purchase food, beverages, and souvenirs. Talk to them about what might happen if it rains, as some attractions may become unavailable. If your child is familiar with the park, you might inquire as to which areas are preferred. Prepare your child ahead of time for any changes in the usual routine.
- If your child has any special medical condition or takes medications, check with your child’s healthcare providers for any specific recommendations. If necessary, get a note from your healthcare provider describing your child’s needs.
- The sights, sounds, smells and activities of Disney World, Universal, Sea World and other theme parks can pose some challenges to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. It’s important to build in time for breaks, restroom stops, and re-charging. If your child becomes overwhelmed, you can ask the staff about quiet places to visit within the parks. Consider your child’s specific sensitivities and provide him or her with the items needed to remain comfortable and safe.
- Once inside the parks make a visit to the Guests Relations office. They may be able to issue a pass which will allow one person of the family to preview the attraction, then the whole party to experience it together, without needing to wait in line. Disney World is well-equipped to handle a variety of guests with special needs.
- Make sure to go with a plan and a lot of patience. Let your child set the pace, and prepare yourself for the unexpected. You will discover the reason why so many families return year after year to the Walt Disney World and Orlando attractions.
- AMC Sensory Friendly Films, in partnership with the Autism Society of America, continues its screenings for children with special needs. Cost is $5 locally and $4 to $6 around the country. The lights are brought up, the sound is turned down and children are allowed to move around and talk as needed. In addition, there are no previews or commercials before the movies. Families are welcome to bring their own gluten-free, casein-free food. Check www.autism-society.org for a schedule and locations nationwide. Ttogether, in one voice, we can make a difference. JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY! Autism Awareness Day is EVERYDAY. Participate and Advocate with us.
- Always Aspergers: Originally a Facebook group dedicated to trying to stop the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders ) from removing Asperger’s Syndrome as a diagnosis. Sadly, the group and a few others we were working with failed to accomplish this goal and the diagnosis was removed. At that time, the entire group voted and the majority chose to change it to a social group. We decided to call it Always Aspergers to show we aspies are still here regardless of the diagnosis still being valid according to the DSM. The group launched on December 4th, 2012 and it quickly took off as a hot bed for people of all ages-both on and off the spectrum to come to for questions, fun, to rant, vent, speak their minds, and feel safe. The group currently has 1000+ members and is growing fast. The group can be found at the link below: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AlwaysAspergers
- Asperger/Autism Network, AANE 51 Water St, Watertown, MA 02472 Tel: (617) 393-3824. Website: http://www.aane.org
- Center for Autism and Related Disabilities. Website: http://card-usf.fmhi.usf.edu