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Posts Tagged 'sensory defensiveness'

Cerebral Palsy & Sensory Processing Disorder at Walt Disney World – 082

RPayne

Richard Payne from Mad Hatter Chatter is this week’s guest. Richard shares how his family plans their Walt Disney World vacations to include the special needs of son, 8 year-old Dickie, who has mild Cerebral Palsy and Sensory Processing Disorder.

Some of the key points of our conversation were:

-Trip-Planning considerations to balance his son’s needs with the needs of the rest of the family

-Adjusting touring to avoid fatigue

-Managing sensory issues (rigidity of food preferences, noise-cancelling headphones, brushing) related to Sensory Processing Disorder

-Managing tight muscles/avoiding muscle spasms related to Cerebral Palsy (ensuring adequate hydration and rest, muscle massage, use of pool/tub)

-Using a stroller with an older child to avoid fatique

-Avoiding falls in unfamiliar resort room

-Activities other than rides that his son enjoys (Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game, interactive queues) and that foster sense of independence

-Planning FP+ reservations

-Favorite places to rest in Magic Kingdom, Epcot, DHS and Animal Kingdom

 

Richard and daughters Avery and Austin co-host a family-friendly Walt Disney World fan podcast called Mad Hatter Chatter. I highly recommend it!

Twitter: @mhchatter

Instagram: @mhchatter

Facebook: www.facebook.com/mhchatter

MHC_Logo

 

Thanks for listening!

Kathy

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WDW Attraction Vehicles and Seating Guide, Part One: Magic Kingdom 060

PPan

 

Erin Foster, original member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and co-author of The Unofficial Guide to the Disney Cruise Line (2015 edition), joins Kathy to discuss her recent four-part blog series at touringplans.com: Walt Disney World Attraction Vehicles and Seating Guide. Today we take a practical look at the attractions and seating at the Magic Kingdom.

The questions that Erin originally set out to answer in her blog series were:

  • I’m a single parent with two small children, will I be separated from them on rides?
  • I’m a plus-sized person, can I fit into the ride vehicles without embarrassment?
  • My knees are bad, will I have to step up or down to get into the ride vehicles?
  • I’m in a wheelchair, do I have to transfer out of it to go on the rides?
  • I have a large party, how will we be split up when visiting the attractions?
  • I have balance issues, will the attraction vehicle be moving while I’m trying to board?

You can find her post here on Touring Plans.

We expand on this information to include elements of attraction vehicles and seating that have an impact on those with sensory issues and fears:

  • Darkness, bright lights
  • Loud Noises
  • Strong Smells
  • Spinning, Motion Sickness
  • Heights

Included in our discussion is an explanation of the Child Swap, Use of Strollers, Disney Parks policy on Cast Members assisting with transfers to ride vehicles, and the importance of following posted safety guidelines/recommendations (especially for guests who are pregnant or who have pre-existing heart, back and neck problems).

Tip of the Week:

For plus-size guests who may be concerned about ride vehicles that require the use of seat belts: some of the attractions provide seat belt extenders. Ask a cast member about availability at the entrance to an attraction if you are concerned about fitting into the traditional seat belt. You want to be both safe and comfortable!

Join us next time for Part Two of the Walt Disney World Attraction Vehicles and Seating Guide when we look at Epcot.

Thanks for listening,

Kathy

 

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Safety IDs for Nonverbal Kids to Wear on Disney Vacations

Lost parents sign

Over the years, with the help of ABA and speech therapy, our sixteen year-old with Autism has gradually gained more speech. He’s not quite conversational, mind you, but he can understand what is being said to him and is able to communicate his needs. And he can answer basic questions like “What is your name?” and “What is your phone number?”

This was not the case when we first traveled to Walt Disney World in 2003. At the age of five, he was practically non-verbal. So you can imagine how worried I was about the possibility of him getting separated from us in a busy theme park. Even if he did manage to find a Cast Member (we repeatedly showed the kids pictures of what their name tags looked like), he wouldn’t be able to answer any of their questions!

The most obvious intervention — one used by many parents of non- or low-verbal children — is to sew labels into the children’s clothing. Well, that idea wouldn’t work for Billy because of his tactile hypersensitivity – he couldn’t tolerate the feel of the labels in his clothes. They seemed almost painful for him. Ditto for any type of ID bracelet or “dog” tag.

My husband came up with the perfect solution. He ordered Billy a Road ID that could be worn on one of his sneakers. It was just like the one he himself wore when running. All of Billy’s emergency contact information could be placed on the Shoe ID and it would not touch his skin at all!

Billy tolerated the Shoe ID so well that when we returned home we just left it on his sneaker. It attaches with Velcro, so it can be easily transferred to another pair of shoes if needed.

RoadID

 

If your child will tolerate it, the Road ID can also be worn on the ankle, the wrist, or as a “dog tag.”

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My friend Heidi (also an Autism mom) developed her own version of sensory-friendly identification which she currently sells on Etsy. Safety ID Stickers for Kids hide your child’s personal information while still being highly visible if they need help. Just stick one on your child’s shirt and go! You pick from the many designs available for the outer sticker and Heidi custom prints the inner sticker with the contact information that you provide her. The stickers are weather proof and the ink will not run even when submerged in water. The stickers stay on until you take them off and leave no adhesive residue on the clothing like tape can.

SafetyIDStickers

 

They aren’t my cup of tea (because the information is so readily visible to strangers), but many parents choose Tattoos With a Purpose. Simply attach the temporary tattoo to your child in a visible area and using the provided marker write down a contact number on the tattoo in case your child goes missing.

TempTattoo

 

Temporary tattoos are non-toxic, hypoallergenic, and can be removed with rubbing alcohol or baby oil.

Another ID system developed by an Autism mom uses smart phone technology. If I Need Help is a non-profit organization that provides a place where the multitude of information about a person with special needs can be kept in one place. This information can be accessed by whoever needs it at the time. Profiles can be accessed manually from any web browser or via scanned QR Codes. QR Codes can be read quickly by any smartphone. QR reader Apps can be downloaded for free from App stores.

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These QR Code patches can be sewn onto favorite items of clothing or…

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You can purchase a variety of clothing with the QR Code patches already attached.

 

Utilizing a Safety ID system for your non- or low-verbal child is an effective way to reduce the stress associated with touring a crowded environment in which the child may wander and become separated from you. Choose a system that works best for you and use it to have a more enjoyable vacation!

How about you? Does your family use a safety ID system that you like?

The first person to write a comment on this blog will receive one QR Code Patch compliments of Erin from If I Need Help!

Thanks for reading,

Kathy

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Autism Trip Report: First Visit to Walt Disney World, 2003

Kathy shares memories and tips from her family’s first trip to Walt Disney World. We’re going way back to September, 2003, when accommodations were easy to get, Fantasmic was scheduled nightly and the hot dog rolls at Casey’s were “real!” Ah, the good old days! Mentioned in this episode are planning for a WDW vacation, character interactions: face characters vs. fur characters, Cinderella’s Royal Table, parade and fireworks viewing tips, items to include in a “sensory” bag, dealing with aggressive birds, airplane travel with autism, and much more.
 
The Special Mouse Tip of the Week concerns Magic Bands and guests with Sensory Defensiveness.
 
Congratulations to listener Josette Smith for correctly guessing the identity of “Mickey” in the new tip of the week bumper — it’s John Saccheri aka The Big Fat Panda! Visit John’s awesome YouTube channel, bigfatpanda.com.
 
This episode of Special Mouse is brought to you by Amy at upanduptravel.com
 
Connect with the show @SpecialMousePod on Twitter and via the Special Mouse Podcast Facebook page.
 
Thanks for listening!

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