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Autism and WDW

cococola44

Active Member
Original Poster
I am happy to be back and active on this website. I wanted to share a short story with you.

My husband and I have three children. My two boys were diagnosed with Autism. Last year was the first time we took our kids. Jesa was 6, my sons were 3 and 2. Buddy, my middle child, has more severe Autism. We were worried about how my sons would react to WDW. We went in one of the most
crow
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ded times which was June 28th to July 6 of last year. My son loveeees Mickey. That is his comfort character/toy to transition him from activity to activity at home and at school.

We went to Character Spot at Epcot and there was 5 minutes that was beyond magic.

My son is non-verbal. So his words are limited. His kisses were when he leaned his head in for a forehead kiss. We set him down and he ran to the Mickey. We explained to the Mickey that Buddy has autism but that he was his favorite character. At that time, once the rest of the room left.. Mickey went to grab the Goofy and Minnie.

They all crowded around my son. He spent the time with smiles, hugging and kissing them all. My husband stood by my son and we both observed such an incredible moment blossom. With tears in our eyes, we saw our son do some things that we never saw him do with that much life and love in his eyes. IF you have a child with Autism, Disney just may be the most amazing gift of therapy you can possibly give a child.
 

StarWarsGirl

Well-Known Member
This was so nice to read. Thank you for sharing. My brother has autism, and WDW and DL have been wonderful for him as well. He was mostly non-verbal at 3 as well, but when we would go to WDW, he would always end up talking more by the end of the trip. And of course, everyone at Disney has always been very accommodating and understanding. Mickey is also my brother's favorite and his comfort toy as well (at 14, he still loves his Mickey. So much so that Mickey has needed several new noses). I hope you and your family have many more experiences such as this one and many more magical Disney experiences as well. :happy:
 
This was lovely to read, and I'm glad you shared this. My brother has autism (he's turning 16 in November), and when we took him to Disney, we had an absolute blast. I never saw him as excited as he was then; we were worried it would be a sensory overload for him, but it was quite the opposite! He was thrilled by RnRC, Expedition Everest, and especially the Peoplemover. Mickey was one of his favorite characters to meet as well (though he liked Buzz and Woody more). He and one of my other brothers are going with my mother in April, and he's even more excited than ever. It's so lovely to see that even those with disabilities are able to enjoy the magic of Disney, and it always warms my heart when I see stories like this! I'm glad you and your family had such a wonderful experience! :)
 
This was a heartwarming story! I have Aspergers, and I can relate to this story, because I always feel happy when I get to meet my favorite characters! On my last trip to Disney World five years ago, I got to meet Lotso Hugging Bear, who was my favorite Toy Story character, and I had a plush toy of him (it was the talking one that would respond to your voice), and when I went to Disneyland last October, I got to meet Sofia the First!
 

Figgy1

Premium Member
This was a heartwarming story! I have Aspergers, and I can relate to this story, because I always feel happy when I get to meet my favorite characters! On my last trip to Disney World five years ago, I got to meet Lotso Hugging Bear, who was my favorite Toy Story character, and I had a plush toy of him (it was the talking one that would respond to your voice), and when I went to Disneyland last October, I got to meet Sofia the First!
Welcome aboard
 

gaga4disney

Well-Known Member
This is a great story. My oldest son has autism and we have always made it a priority to bring him into the community. Disney world is a therapeutic vacation for our son and all members of our family. He is 12 now, mildly verbal. It always amazes me how easy it is for him to verbalize the fact that he wants to go there... just about everyday :)
 

minniemickeyfan

Well-Known Member
Great story! thank you for sharing.
My son 3 1/2 we believe has autism and or a learning disability. He hasn't been officially diagnosed, but is non-verbal and has many signs. He too loves Mickey and loves going to Disney World and all the rides. However, our biggest obstacle seems to be line waiting, which we really try to avoid by using fastpass, and arriving early and making sure he gets a good mid-day break. Does Disney allow you to get those return times for other attractions than the ones you have fastpasses for to help with this specific problem?
 

Figgy1

Premium Member
Great story! thank you for sharing.
My son 3 1/2 we believe has autism and or a learning disability. He hasn't been officially diagnosed, but is non-verbal and has many signs. He too loves Mickey and loves going to Disney World and all the rides. However, our biggest obstacle seems to be line waiting, which we really try to avoid by using fastpass, and arriving early and making sure he gets a good mid-day break. Does Disney allow you to get those return times for other attractions than the ones you have fastpasses for to help with this specific problem?
Yes just go to guest relations at the beginning of a trip and explain the situation
 

blueboxdoctor

Well-Known Member
While I don't know anyone with autism I do love these sort of stories (ever since I interned at a local Arc I have been interested in these kind of stories). I know two trips ago there was a family with a child with autism and during the fireworks (standing behind the castle) one of the cast members had memorized the show and was with the family and had the girl act out conducting the fireworks. These are the sort of things Disney does that other companies may lack, and while there may be many people who don't realize it, things like this can really benefit a family's trip in a positive way. Glad to hear you all had a good trip.
 

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