05-12-2007, 05:31 PM
I have an autistic son, age 9. He is very high functioning, however some music and high pitched sounds upset him and he will fold his ears and whine.
What park do you suggest me to start him off in? Also do you suggest Fantasmic MGM? Would we have to wait in line because we cannot get priority seating on The 4th of July week. Will they accommodate us with the GAC pass for Fantasmic so we do not have to wait in line without priority seating?
I know I should bring earplugs. My sister wrote a message for me, and thanks to all that responded. I also have a daughter 4 and she is a typical child and I wanted both of there first experiences to be with minimum stress. My son was 2 and too young to remember his first experience.
05-13-2007, 08:41 AM
I have a 9yr old autistic son, too, and we have had four really awesome trips to WDW! You may be feeling some anxiety now, but I think you will find that with sensible planning, your entire family will be able to enjoy WDW to the fullest.
My son is hypo-sensitive in some situations and hyper-sensitive in others (like yours... loud noises, fireworks, pyrotechnics, etc.) We did Fantasmic! twice and plan to do it again this November.
The first time, we didn't really know what to expect, so aside from earplugs we did not do anything special. It was September, so crowds were not a big issue. We arrived perhaps 25 min before the show and sat somewhere in the middle of the theater. Billy was not happy with the pyrotechnics and a lot of smoke blew in our faces, so it wasn't the best. We were able to distract him a bit with his Pal Mickey, but he did cry some and missed a lot of the show because he was hiding his face in his Daddy's chest!
The second time, (January...crowds a bit bigger), we just waited until about 10 min before the show started and then showed our GAC and were permitted to sit all the way up in the back in one of the handicapped seating areas. Billy was able to watch the entire show this time. It was much better; we were further from the flash and heat of the pyrotechnics. We also could make a quicker exit ahead of the crowds when the show ended. Of course, the earplugs came in handy once again. We plan to sit in the handicapped section again this November.
If you are going on 4th of July Weekend, however, I would arrive a little earlier. The handicapped seating is first come, first served. I would enter, show the GAC, get seated, then have one person take your son for a walk while you wait if it is too difficult for him to sit still.
If the handicapped sections are already filled, just get seats as far away from the stage as you can. Don't worry, you will actually get a better overall view as long as you are not too far off to one side.
(The reserved seating for the F! package is actually far off to one side, so even though the seats are reserved, they aren't necessarily the best views.)
You may get some more tips if you check out my recent trip report (link is below). I wrote it especially for other parents of autistic children who are going to WDW.
Good Luck!! :grouphug:
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