View Full Version : need tips on sensory overload

06-20-2000, 01:40 PM
Need some tips on our next trip to disney.Our daughter age 3 has sensory problems by the 3 rd day at wdw she is getting sensory overload causing her to get upset to light touch,loud noises,bright lights.she has mild autism in her syndrome.we decide to make our trip longer and not spend but a few hours in a park and more down time in the cabin.What can i do physically or emotionally to keep her calm.any suggestions?

06-20-2000, 03:32 PM
Have you ever tried 'deep pressure' or 'tickleing' ? that is what we do with our grandson. we learned that from his OT?SI therapists. aslo at school when he goes into overload they put a weighted vest on him. It does seem to calm him and then the rest of the day is OK
Sandra /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

06-20-2000, 03:56 PM
pronounced "spesh-ee-al-it-tee"...
been there, done that, made it therapeutic!

I wonder if my old post about Theme Park Therapy is still around... I'll look. There are lots of ways to keep things safe and sane -

1) Just say no to Commando/Turbo Touring. SLow, easy, repetitive, calm, gentle -- oh, that is YOU, the parent, not the rides by the way! You have to use your own emotional and physical homeostasis to help your kid feel safe and grounded. Actually getting on a ride is totally optional, unless you are in the process of doing Theme Park Therapy (my own home-made brand of progressive desensitization technique)

2) Use a sturdy smooth-rolling stroller. One with sides and a cover would be nice- the deep pressure and containment help them feel more safe.

3) Reduce auditory input as much as possible, remember that they rely more often on their visual for cues.

4) When they are acting out, try to remember their reduced verbal abilities and hypersensitivity to physical stimuli... at all costs, avoid getting tense, uptight or punitive!!!! That squirrely behavior may be a sign that there is a little blister that you can hardly see that is causing them total overload, or a bit of a sunburn that most kids would brush off that makes them totally miserable, or somebody else's tension and frustration are causing them emotional distress.

5. 3 years old is still young... with proper support they do learn to love it! But some people have one little disaster and then avoid theme parks altogether from then on - big mistake! Imagine what it will be like if all their friends go out to a fair one day when they are older, but your kid can't go because she never learned how to cope with the sensory input... a major social loss for kids with special needs if they can't go on trips with their pals.

6) Mental Preparation is very helpful! Trip planning videos, sing-along videos that feature the parks, books about the parks, about the characters, about circuses and fairs... and lots of trips to smaller parks closer to home - short, repetitive, predictable trips loaded with fun - a great way to prepare.

I am sure other people have some good ideas...

06-21-2000, 04:12 AM
we have the strong supportive stroller mentioned
earlier-not an umbrella. We plan our visit so
that we never have 3 days of park in a row-we
always take day 3 and 6 off completely to relax,
read books,sleep in and play in quiet places.
There was a post last year about quiet places
at WDW. I can't find my print out so i think
i'll start another thread-we visit those quiet
places often too while at a park. Places like
the little park across from Splash Mountain and
BTMR, believe it or not most of the stimuli
goes away and much of the noise in these shaded
lower level spots. Rarely anyone there but us.
Also-visits to fairs, festivals and concerts
outdoors prior to WDW seem to help too. We definitely do one shorter visit per day-no commando Disney for us; we're glad for what we
have. All of this helps the grownups from melt
downs too. /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif mimi

06-21-2000, 10:20 AM
we find that staying at the cabins in FW helps alot. Espcially if your kids are young and you will be spending most of your time at MK. Our son is autistic with severe sensory defensiveness. He has always done well at disneyworld. We have a Maclaren Stroller and we use it when he gets overstimulated. He is 7 a weighs over 70 lbs now so I can't hold him and calm him anymore. When he is overloading we usually put him in the stroller,find a quiet corner and just give him deep pressure and quietly talk to him until he calms down. He knows that he cannot return to the rides until he calms down.

We also try to mix the calming rides and the overstimulating ones. (he loves them all) Some of the calming ones are it's a small world, the pirate cruise. The Wedway people mover is great because it moves at a nice speed (not to fast,not to slow) and it last a pretty long time.

Fort Wilderness is great too because it is as quiet as MK is stimulating. We always get a golf cart, our son could ride around in those things all day long. Also the pony rides are great for our kids.



06-21-2000, 01:19 PM
I am remembering back to when mine was little... Disney boats, monorails and buses were terrific, and when he would get overloaded, one of us would take him around on Disney Transportation. We used to joke that we could go to WDW and save money on his ticket, because he would be just as happy to ride the boats, buses and monorails... but he has definitely grown into the parks and really looks forard to them now. (You should read my post on the Community Board, search for Close Encounters...)

I have 2, one with PDD and the other with NVLD/motor planning issues, and until this year they could both fit into one adult wheelchair. I wish MacLaren made a Major Buddy Double!

We like Old Key West for the same reasons others like FW - it is SERENE! Not a hint of overstimulation there, quiet pools.

SueM in MN
06-24-2000, 06:22 AM
Also, MK is too overstimulating for some of us adults!
We always found that Epcot is a more calming place to go and there are many quiet, calm places there. Especially Living Seas and some of the garden areas in World Showcase.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

06-28-2000, 11:50 AM
teri, we have stayed at the cabins and we also thought it was much more relaxing than a regular room at some of the other resorts.You also mentioned old key west.could you tell me more about that resort.we have never been there.we were considering the boardwalk villas but were concerned the activity at night might be too noisy.

disney chatterbug, email me anytime

06-29-2000, 02:54 PM
It is one of the Disney Vacation Club properties, they also rent to non-members. Quiet, nice, pleasant. You might search ... I think http://disney.go.com/DisneyVacationClub/index.html will give pictures and descriptions. I am sleep deprived right now... I'll try to get back to this.

Vero Beach is also a WONDERFUL place to take our kids if you want some beach time, and much more affordable. They have terrific pacakges for people willing to sit through the low-key timeshare presentations and do the tour - no pressure, good discounts especially in off-season.

SueM in MN
07-01-2000, 04:50 PM
We're members of DVC at OKW. It's very laid back, usually very quiet. There are studio rooms that are bigger than the usual hotel room. They come with a frig and a microwave (great for those picky eaters). You can also rent a one bedroom that has a large bedroom with a huge bathroom, a great room with a sofa bed and a full kitchen and washer/dryer. If you have a car, you can park very close to your room and the rooms mostly have views of the golf course.

SueM in MN
Co-Moderator of disABILITIES (http://wdwinfo.infopop.net/OpenTopic/page?q=Y&a=frm&s=40009993&f=38009194)

11-21-2000, 12:57 PM



01-04-2001, 10:23 PM
bump, for saymama

"My brain takes a vacation just to give my heart more room..."

03-16-2001, 04:46 PM