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Old 10-09-2012, 07:59 AM   #16
peemagg
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Sure you or your husband can get the autographs. Something else you might want to do instead of the autographs, especially since the lines are quite long, and it eats up a lot of time waiting in the lines, just take pictures of each character in the parks. Then when you get home you could make up story books to help them remember.
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Old 10-09-2012, 10:49 AM   #17
clanmcculloch
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Originally Posted by Imoutnumbered View Post
Thank you all for the replies. The photos and autographs are important bc my kids like to look back and remember, which is why i asked if adults can get the signatures (bc then dh or I could get them). They love looking back on trips and reliving the experience. I think we might skip the character meals, that might be to much for them. I'm working on social stories now. I've made them plenty of times and it helps them so much knowing what to expect.
I still think you're missing a big point being made by several of us. Yes, pictures are important for looking back on fond memories. Nobody has said otherwise. What we're trying to get you to consider though is that the photos should be of good memories that you make together. There is no rule saying that these memories have to be with characters in order for your trip to be a success. If you have fun playing in the interactive queue at Pooh then take pictures of your kids (and you) with the interactive play structures as that is a real memory rather than a posed on that was forced upon everybody. Focus on what your family enjoys and make memories with those rather than trying to create artificial memories that really were never of interest to your kids. Be open to discovering just what your kids will enjoy. Be open to all those amazing tear filled wonderful moments which really only happen once you let go of those preconceived ideas of what you think a WDW vacation should be.
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Old 10-09-2012, 03:36 PM   #18
dja14
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My kids are on the spectrum as well. They have always loved the characters but one especially hated lines. The all like collecting though, so love autographs and pictures. And love looking over the books later. But they are older than your kids and we all know autism is different for everyone.

If I was in your position I would not pay for character meals. They are pretty pricey and the food is more buffet style (for alot of them) and buffets are a pain with little ones I think. For sure stay away (far away) from Chef Mickeys. It was very loud, my oldest got earplugs out and he was 7 the first time. And he loves wild stuff but it was too loud for him. No one ate much.

I would get fastpasses for character greets when I could, and look for short lines when I saw them. (we came across many that were no wait or only one or two) They may warm up over the days but you or husband could get autographs and take a pictures while kids waves. The big thing I would do is the parades because they can wave and not be too close. Hit the opening show at MK where they all ride in on the train.

I think sometimes Dads have a hard time with asd. (In general, the families I know) It is so hard to really understand and the moms end up at all the dr appts so we hear a little more. It is a hard adjustment to what is 'normal' for us. In our family and 2 others I know that dads are spectrum too, which makes it even harder to adjust. If you can make your trip as stress free as you can for the kids and your husband you will have a better time yourself. Prepare your husband ahead of time that since the kids don't like characters you are going to take pictures of you or him with the characters to make a book for the kids so the kids can remember but not be afraid, then they can warm up slowly.

Trust me on this, if you push this not only will you and the family have a stressed out trip, they will not like them for a long, long time. We talked my daughter onto rock n roller coaster and now she is very resistant to anything that might go sideways or upside down, she just wasn't ready but we thought she would be fine. She rides all kinds of wild stuff but the review of coasters before we go anywhere now is crazy You can work around the characters and have a much better time
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Old 10-09-2012, 05:36 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Imoutnumbered View Post
Thank you all for the replies. The photos and autographs are important bc my kids like to look back and remember, which is why i asked if adults can get the signatures (bc then dh or I could get them). They love looking back on trips and reliving the experience. I think we might skip the character meals, that might be to much for them. I'm working on social stories now. I've made them plenty of times and it helps them so much knowing what to expect.
I'm confused - if you and your husband are going up to get the autographs, what memory do you share with the kids? If they are not enjoying the actual experience, how do they enjoy reliving the experience?
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:38 PM   #20
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I'm confused - if you and your husband are going up to get the autographs, what memory do you share with the kids? If they are not enjoying the actual experience, how do they enjoy reliving the experience?
I agree. You could take pictures and write the characters name with it in a book and not worry about "autographs". The character just prints their "name" it isn't anything special, at least that's what happened last week with my friends daughter. If your kids won't go near the character, then they aren't getting anything out of having the autograph.
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Old 10-10-2012, 07:21 AM   #21
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I agree. You could take pictures and write the characters name with it in a book and not worry about "autographs". The character just prints their "name" it isn't anything special, at least that's what happened last week with my friends daughter. If your kids won't go near the character, then they aren't getting anything out of having the autograph.
I understand what OP is trying to do. The kids don't want the direct interaction, however they will be present (it's not like they aren't on the trip with mom&dad). They will have the "memory" of seeing the characters, seeing mom or dad meet the character and get the autograph for them. Meanwhile, the child stands back (next to the picture-taking parent) to watch and avoid direct interaction.

My DD does not have an ASD diagnosis but has many similiarities. It's how their brains are wired, she just loves photo albums and discussing who/what/where/when about each picture, whether or not she was directly involved.

Good luck to OP. Yes, adults may stand in line and get autographs and pictures taken with characters. If you point out your children, the characters will wave to them and not force them to participate. Enjoy your vacation!
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:23 AM   #22
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I understand what OP is trying to do. The kids don't want the direct interaction, however they will be present (it's not like they aren't on the trip with mom&dad). They will have the "memory" of seeing the characters, seeing mom or dad meet the character and get the autograph for them. Meanwhile, the child stands back (next to the picture-taking parent) to watch and avoid direct interaction.

My DD does not have an ASD diagnosis but has many similiarities. It's how their brains are wired, she just loves photo albums and discussing who/what/where/when about each picture, whether or not she was directly involved.

Good luck to OP. Yes, adults may stand in line and get autographs and pictures taken with characters. If you point out your children, the characters will wave to them and not force them to participate. Enjoy your vacation!
Exactly. Just because the kids don't want to risk being touched by the characters, and feel somewhat overwhelmed by direct interaction, doesn't mean that the indirect interaction/observation isn't just as enjoyable for them. They may love the characters and love seeing how the characters interact with people - just not them. If they can be a part of the experience by being there, but not have the pressure/fear of having to go up to the character, they can have a fond memory of it. And enjoy reliving that memory. I understand completely because my son is sometimes the same way. He was afraid of the animals at the petting zoo part in AK...but he didn't want to leave, he just wanted to see away from them and watch.

I didn't really like the character meals. They were loud and a bit stressful. You were always waiting for the characters to come over, and worried about leaving the table etc. The kids didn't eat. My son, 4, ended up LOVING characters. He adores them so much. (I was relieved and shocked). But, he didn't always want to see them at the restaurants. We took his stroller into all the restaurants and he stayed in it, so if he wanted to get out and interact he could. But he doesn't really eat, so that might not work for other kids.

When we first got to WDW, we'd stand and watch the characters from the sideline (many are outdoors, so you can see the people waiting in the queue and the characters). Then as he watched them (and imitated them, as he likes to do), he got comfortable enough to go in line and meet them. Sometimes it took awhile...but as long as he was enjoying watching, that's what we did.

I wouldn't bother with the meals. Find some characters outside and watch the interactions, then if the kids want to do it, great. Another spot to watch Mickey is at Hollywood Studios. You can see him from outside the line. You can also get fastpasses for Mickey at the Theater in Magic Kingdom.

Good luck. Enjoy your trip, and I'm sure you'll be able to get them the autographs and pictures for the photo album. Maybe they would like some pictures of Mom and Dad with the characters!
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:03 AM   #23
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OK, now I understand, thank you. It will be more like "this is when Daddy met Snow White and got her autograph". I thought the OP was going to try to have the kids think they got the autographs.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:33 PM   #24
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Something I've had to learn the hard way is that just because *I* think that my kids should enjoy certain portions of the WDW experience doesn't mean that they will. This is true for both my Aspie and my NT child.

Ask yourself why you want to get them autograph books and go to character meals and meet characters. They've shown no interest. If it's based on a preconceived idea that kids should like it then save yourselves the anxiety, aggrevation and expense and skip it. You'll be so glad that you did. Even for families without special needs kids, it's important to pick and choose which experiences can be fit into your vacation as it is impossible to do everything. I would strongly urge you to pick and choose the things in which your kids have shown some interest and scratch the things that cause anxiety off the list.
Totally agree!! Our younger dd has ASD and has always been afraid of the characters. When she was in preschool, her teacher wrote her a social story, about how she could just wave at them and move on. We don't do character meals with her. I lose my appetite when I'm anxious or scared, and I just don't want a meal to be a major stressor for her.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:10 AM   #25
Imoutnumbered
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I understand what OP is trying to do. The kids don't want the direct interaction, however they will be present (it's not like they aren't on the trip with mom&dad). They will have the "memory" of seeing the characters, seeing mom or dad meet the character and get the autograph for them. Meanwhile, the child stands back (next to the picture-taking parent) to watch and avoid direct interaction.

My DD does not have an ASD diagnosis but has many similiarities. It's how their brains are wired, she just loves photo albums and discussing who/what/where/when about each picture, whether or not she was directly involved.

Good luck to OP. Yes, adults may stand in line and get autographs and pictures taken with characters. If you point out your children, the characters will wave to them and not force them to participate. Enjoy your vacation!

Yes, thank you for understanding. I don't want to trick the kids, but have them involved as much as possible. Even if that means telling dad or I they want a autograph and we get it while they watch. It's still a memory and they don't have to get stressed making it.

I think we are going to skip the meals, maybe try the princess one since it is not a masked character. I want everyone to enjoy this trip and of course if that means we won't get any photos, signatures or anything else, that's fine.

Thanks for the understanding.
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Old 10-13-2012, 12:36 PM   #26
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If you are going ahead with the princess meal, I would recommend you do it near the end of the trip. This way you have time for your kids to get used to the characters before the meal. Also, if they don't get used to them and react badly to the characters during your trip, you still have time to cancel the dinner.
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