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Old 11-09-2012, 08:25 PM   #1
tracies
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a Disney miracle for our son with autism :)

I'm copy/pasting this from my facebook a few days ago, so please forgive any typos, as I posted from my iPhone.


So we experienced a miracle tonight. Noah (ds5, with moderate non-to-limited-verbal autism)has never in his life done any greetings. We can't get him to wave, say hello or goodbye, or anything of that nature. So tonight we rode the Nemo ride at Epcot and he loved it. We went right back in (it was close to closing time and hardly anyone there) and the 2nd time, I said, "Noah, let's wave to Nemo!" and he waved! Kept doing it the whole ride. We told the CM's what had happened, and they were super excited, and told us to keep riding as many times as we wanted, so we took him through like 8 more times. By the 5th or 6th time, he was waving at all the characters, AND saying "Hi Nemo! (and Dori and Marlin and Bruce, etc.) I was bawling by then of course. lol. After the 8th or 9th time, the cast members met us at the end of the ride, along with the engineer and supervisor of the ride. They had brought Noah a stuffed Nemo doll, and they all talked to him and took pictures and stuff. I can't properly express what a huge thing this is for us. Not only for the amazingly huge breakthrough Noah had, but also the outstanding people who work here. I've before never experienced the welcome and helpfulness that we've seen every single day from the Disney staff. This is truly a magical place. ♥

And this is my update today:

Our little Disney miracle has definitely stuck. Noah has been waving and saying hi and goodbye consistently since it happened. Praise God!!! Oh and a cast member totally made my day the day we left. We went back to Nemo and rode a few more times, and she remembered us. She was so excited that we came back, and she said all the cast members in The Seas had been talking about him all week! The best part - she said if she had ever needed validation for her job, we were it! ♥
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracies
I'm copy/pasting this from my facebook a few days ago, so please forgive any typos, as I posted from my iPhone.

So we experienced a miracle tonight. Noah (ds5, with moderate non-to-limited-verbal autism)has never in his life done any greetings. We can't get him to wave, say hello or goodbye, or anything of that nature. So tonight we rode the Nemo ride at Epcot and he loved it. We went right back in (it was close to closing time and hardly anyone there) and the 2nd time, I said, "Noah, let's wave to Nemo!" and he waved! Kept doing it the whole ride. We told the CM's what had happened, and they were super excited, and told us to keep riding as many times as we wanted, so we took him through like 8 more times. By the 5th or 6th time, he was waving at all the characters, AND saying "Hi Nemo! (and Dori and Marlin and Bruce, etc.) I was bawling by then of course. lol. After the 8th or 9th time, the cast members met us at the end of the ride, along with the engineer and supervisor of the ride. They had brought Noah a stuffed Nemo doll, and they all talked to him and took pictures and stuff. I can't properly express what a huge thing this is for us. Not only for the amazingly huge breakthrough Noah had, but also the outstanding people who work here. I've before never experienced the welcome and helpfulness that we've seen every single day from the Disney staff. This is truly a magical place. e

And this is my update today:

Our little Disney miracle has definitely stuck. Noah has been waving and saying hi and goodbye consistently since it happened. Praise God!!! Oh and a cast member totally made my day the day we left. We went back to Nemo and rode a few more times, and she remembered us. She was so excited that we came back, and she said all the cast members in The Seas had been talking about him all week! The best part - she said if she had ever needed validation for her job, we were it! e
That is great I am so happy for all of you and that the cms went above and beyond to make you and your ds5 have a great trip if you have their names I am sure Disney would love to hear your story Did you take him to turtle talk to see crush.
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Old 11-09-2012, 08:44 PM   #3
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That made my eyes fill with happy tears for your son. Thank you for sharing your precious moment with us.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracies View Post
I'm copy/pasting this from my facebook a few days ago, so please forgive any typos, as I posted from my iPhone.


So we experienced a miracle tonight. Noah (ds5, with moderate non-to-limited-verbal autism)has never in his life done any greetings. We can't get him to wave, say hello or goodbye, or anything of that nature. So tonight we rode the Nemo ride at Epcot and he loved it. We went right back in (it was close to closing time and hardly anyone there) and the 2nd time, I said, "Noah, let's wave to Nemo!" and he waved! Kept doing it the whole ride. We told the CM's what had happened, and they were super excited, and told us to keep riding as many times as we wanted, so we took him through like 8 more times. By the 5th or 6th time, he was waving at all the characters, AND saying "Hi Nemo! (and Dori and Marlin and Bruce, etc.) I was bawling by then of course. lol. After the 8th or 9th time, the cast members met us at the end of the ride, along with the engineer and supervisor of the ride. They had brought Noah a stuffed Nemo doll, and they all talked to him and took pictures and stuff. I can't properly express what a huge thing this is for us. Not only for the amazingly huge breakthrough Noah had, but also the outstanding people who work here. I've before never experienced the welcome and helpfulness that we've seen every single day from the Disney staff. This is truly a magical place. ♥

And this is my update today:

Our little Disney miracle has definitely stuck. Noah has been waving and saying hi and goodbye consistently since it happened. Praise God!!! Oh and a cast member totally made my day the day we left. We went back to Nemo and rode a few more times, and she remembered us. She was so excited that we came back, and she said all the cast members in The Seas had been talking about him all week! The best part - she said if she had ever needed validation for her job, we were it! ♥
That is very awesome. Thank you for sharing that. I am so happy for your little guy and your family.
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Old 11-09-2012, 09:57 PM   #5
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Oh My. I was ready to stop DISing for the night and then I read your post. I am wiping the tears away as I post. What a wonderful break through for your son. I wish him only the best for the future and I hope he continues to talk every day.

Thank you to the cast members who made this even more magical.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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I'm so glad the progress is continuing. Disney really can be the most magical place on Earth.
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Old 11-09-2012, 10:42 PM   #7
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So happy for you!

I am currently planning my first trip to WDW with my daugther who also has Autism and I totally understand how HUGE this is! I've heard stories from friends who tell me their kids become "less autistic" while at WDW. Every word, every little step is progress. I'm so happy to hear of your son's breakthrough and the kindness of the CM's.
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Old 11-10-2012, 01:49 AM   #8
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Your story made me tear up. This is EXACTLY why I take my son to WDW as often as I can. He is 19 now, and has Down Syndrome. I have also seen a lot of progress in different skills/behaviors when we go. Especially when he was younger, it was the one place he could pretty much be just like any other kid and do the same things everyone else was doing. Our most recent "break through" was in ordering and "paying" for his own food. At home he would refuse to to hand a cashier money or say what he wanted. But at Disney....he did. No problem to go through a food court line, order his meal (after we'd looked at the menu together) and go thru the check out by himself (with me watching from nearby if course.)
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Old 11-10-2012, 02:19 AM   #9
tracies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaBi View Post
Your story made me tear up. This is EXACTLY why I take my son to WDW as often as I can. He is 19 now, and has Down Syndrome. I have also seen a lot of progress in different skills/behaviors when we go. Especially when he was younger, it was the one place he could pretty much be just like any other kid and do the same things everyone else was doing. Our most recent "break through" was in ordering and "paying" for his own food. At home he would refuse to to hand a cashier money or say what he wanted. But at Disney....he did. No problem to go through a food court line, order his meal (after we'd looked at the menu together) and go thru the check out by himself (with me watching from nearby if course.)
Aww you just made me tear up again! That is wonderful! Isn't it amazing when they learn those social skills that are necessary for everyday life? I had heard so many stories of special needs kiddos having breakthroughs at Disney, but I was trying not to get my hopes up just to be disappointed later, ya know? Greetings have been on Noah's IEP for 3 years now, and he has not made even an inch of progress with them. I never dreamed that he would go from no greetings of any kind to waving and saying hi and goodbye and names in an hour's time! I am a true believer in Disney magic now.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:08 AM   #10
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Happy tears.

I don't know what it is about that place, but I do know DD flourishes when she is there. I am sooo happy for you. What a special memory. And just think how much Noah can continue to progress. The potential is so encouraging. Thank you very much for sharing that wonderful moment with us.
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Old 11-10-2012, 07:10 AM   #11
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Here is a link from a few years ago of a similar occurrence reported.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshire Figment
Here is a link from a few years ago of a similar occurrence reported.
Now I'm teary eyed again. I'd forgotten that thread. There is just something about that place ....the best stories are the ones about kiddos with Autism breaking thru their social interaction barriers.

Our most tear-jerker personal moment had to be during dinner at the castle one time. Characters were in the dining room doing a "show" but of course, no M&G. A server came up to our table and told me to have my camera ready. ????! Then about 10 minutes later he came back and asked us to follow him. I had no clue what was going on. Well, he led us to a little alcove, and there was The Fairy Godmother. She had asked to see Connor. She noticed him as she was circulating around the room. We got a few pictures, and then she talked to him a little bit. She asked what hie wished for, and he told her that he wanted a girlfriend because he'd never been kissed. He was probably about 15 at the time. She gave him a big old kiss on his cheek. He so believes in the magic that he was sure if anyone could help him, it would be the Fairy Godmother. That still makes me tear up....he still wishes for a girlfriend and his first kiss.
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tracies

Aww you just made me tear up again! That is wonderful! Isn't it amazing when they learn those social skills that are necessary for everyday life? I had heard so many stories of special needs kiddos having breakthroughs at Disney, but I was trying not to get my hopes up just to be disappointed later, ya know? Greetings have been on Noah's IEP for 3 years now, and he has not made even an inch of progress with them. I never dreamed that he would go from no greetings of any kind to waving and saying hi and goodbye and names in an hour's time! I am a true believer in Disney magic now.
I am so happy for you and your son. That is a MAJOR deal!!!
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Old 11-10-2012, 10:53 AM   #14
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Fantastic!!! I love hearing about these breakthroughs!!
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Old 11-10-2012, 06:01 PM   #15
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That is so awesome!!!

I call our Disney trips... Disney therapy - It is 100% success rate better than anything else!!
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