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Old 02-19-2013, 09:18 PM   #1
hammond821
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GAC if child needs stroller?

We are first time Disney visitors and I am not sure how to handle my child's disability. He is 10 and has Down Syndrome. I don't think he will have any issues with lines (as least any more than a typical kid would), but I am concerned about him tiring from the walking and experiencing trouble with the braces on his ankles. Do we need a GAC to to bring a stroller in line? He is pretty small, so a wheelchair is not necessary. He may surprise us and do fine, but I am trying to prepare. Thanks!
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:33 PM   #2
Betty Rohrer
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yes i would get the GAC and also the stroller as a wheelchair tag for stroller so you can bring stroller in lines and also buildings that do not let strollers in.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:46 PM   #3
SueM in MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hammond821 View Post
We are first time Disney visitors and I am not sure how to handle my child's disability. He is 10 and has Down Syndrome. I don't think he will have any issues with lines (as least any more than a typical kid would), but I am concerned about him tiring from the walking and experiencing trouble with the braces on his ankles. Do we need a GAC to to bring a stroller in line? He is pretty small, so a wheelchair is not necessary. He may surprise us and do fine, but I am trying to prepare. Thanks!
Strollers are usually not allowed in most lines, so you will need to have your stroller identified to show it is being used as a wheelchair.

You will need a GAC (Guest Assistance Card) along with a special sticker that is very visible so CMs can tell easily that it can be in lines.

You can find more information in post 6 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread, which is located near the top of this board or you can follow the link in my signature.
Post 2 of that thread has information about renting special needs strollers toward the end of the post if you don't already have one for your child.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:00 PM   #4
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You might also look at Post #2 of the FAQ. It lists locations that will rent medical strollers for larger kids. When you talk to them be sure to give his height and weight. And you might be better off using a pediatric wheelchair, again the local suppliers can provide one of the correct size for him.
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:56 PM   #5
hammond821
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Thanks so much for all of the help! I think that we can still get away with the stroller as he is quite small. He would likely resist the wheelchair suggestion, though we might have to do this for a future trip when he is older. Again, I appreciate it.
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Old 02-25-2013, 12:34 PM   #6
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We used a stroller for DSwhen he was 7. He has bilateral foot pain but is quite embarrassed to let anyone know he has a problem. He didn't have his wheelchair yet and was against it but was willing to do the stroller. We got a GAC and were given a stroller that said stroller as wheelchair and he stayed in his stroller the whole time in line. This saved him a great deal of pain and allowed him to enjoy his trip. Using his stroller as a wheelchair at the time was a great compromise and worked well.

We rented a medical stroller which actually looked like a big sturdy umbrellas stroller so nothing obstusive or that screamed "I have an issue".
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:25 AM   #7
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Wheelchair or stroller

My 11yr old uses oxygen. In years past we have used the stroller as a wheelchair option. She is 5 feet tall now so I'm thinking even the double stroller is out. Not only will we be traveling with her but my 76yr old mother in-law. We have rented an offsite scooter for her. BUT I am not sure what to do with my daughter. I know I need a Guest assistance pass. We've used those since she was 2 but I am at a loss as to what to do this year. I know the wheel chairs do not have shades. Over heating is a major issue for her. HELP please!!!
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:38 AM   #8
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Jenn, have you checked out some of the medical strollers that are available? They may suit your child's needs.
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Old 04-28-2013, 12:56 PM   #9
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last time we rented a scooter from outside company for my dad, we got the optional roof thing for shade. we thought it would be great. well, we ended up ditching it pretty quickly. we had to kinda laugh at first, it was real tall and skinny, reminded us of fred flinstone mobile, but get over the funny look and enjoy the shade. well, it was small so, most of the time the sun shined from a side angle and didn't put him in the shade at all. I do understand why they cant make them wide, he would have been ramming other people with it. guess it was so tall so he wouldn't hit his head on it. he stayed on his scooter to enter the shows, which they put him up front and we had to quickly learn how to dismantle this thing. we got tired of putting it together and taking it apart,especially if it didn't really help. so just be careful when choosing what you are renting.

maybe just a wide rimmed hat would be good or a small parasol like they sell in epcot?

OP-we have similar situation. we get both gac and sticker to use stroller as wheelchair. in a lot of situations, we don't use either one. but, it is good to have it just incase. it will be of help to keep him from having extra pain.
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Old 04-28-2013, 01:34 PM   #10
SueM in MN
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Or an actual wheelchair.
You can probably rent a smaller size one from home and you would be able to bring it with you.
You may be able to get one loaned from a landing loser in your area (school or children's hospital should be able to help you with resources ).
If you are flying, wheelchairs are transported free of charge.

The wheelchairs at the parks are all wider, adult chairs, but some of the off site rental companies rent smaller one. There are also some companies that rent special needs strollers, if you think one of those would work better. You can find more information in post 2 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread (near the top of this board or follow the link in my signature).

For your supplies, most people just use a backpack or hang oxygen that has a shoulder strap from the push handles of the wheelchair. You can store extra supplies in a locker or at First Aid in any park.
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Old 04-28-2013, 02:07 PM   #11
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You can get wheelchair umbrellas like these that clamp onto a wheelchair.

http://www.amazon.com/Rolyn-Prest-Wh.../dp/B007G4VNSQ

http://www.amazon.com/Paraplis-Umbre.../dp/B002LDFTO6

There is a generic stroller shade I have seen that might work on a wheelchair:
http://www.amazon.com/RayShade®-Prot...ller+ray+shade

We tried an umbrella one once on DD's wheelchair, but it was always in the way of either her or the person pushing her. We've had much better luck just having someone walk beside her to shade her.

ALSO, since overheating is a concern for you, it's important to keep in mind that many of the sunshade products trap heat and don't allow air circulation. Other suggestions:
- many people recommend things from a company called Frog Toggs. They have items called Chilly Toggs that are meant to cool people.
http://www.froggtoggs.com/

- you can also buy cooling vests that actively cool people. They are made by different companies and work in various ways. They are generally quite expensive, but for some people they are absolutely necessary. You MAY be able to get insurance coverage or be able to use a medical spending account to purchase them with a doctor's prescription and justification of need.
http://www.stacoolvest.com/
http://www.glaciertek.com/
http://www.arcticheatusa.com/

- go as early as possible and stay a few hours, until about 11 or so when it is starting to get warmer and the sun is higher and more or an issue.

- go back to your hotel, site see at other resorts or plan a sit down lunch if you are planning to be at a park later when it is hot ( sun is most intense between 10 and 2)

- come back to the park in early evening when it has started to cool off.

- plan your touring to do outdoor things if possible during the cooler times and save the longer, indoor air conditioned things for later when it is warmer.

- using a touring plan can help a lot with shortening waits and also with crowds - the less people in the park/area of the park you are in, the easier it is to move around.
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Last edited by SueM in MN; 04-28-2013 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 04-29-2013, 11:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jenn-n-okla View Post
My 11yr old uses oxygen. In years past we have used the stroller as a wheelchair option. She is 5 feet tall now so I'm thinking even the double stroller is out. Not only will we be traveling with her but my 76yr old mother in-law. We have rented an offsite scooter for her. BUT I am not sure what to do with my daughter. I know I need a Guest assistance pass. We've used those since she was 2 but I am at a loss as to what to do this year. I know the wheel chairs do not have shades. Over heating is a major issue for her. HELP please!!!
At 11 years old I can't imagine her agreeing to anything that looks like a stroller. When my 10yo had a broken ankle we rented at 16" wheelchair for her. The standard size of 18" would have been a problem because the seat would have been too deep and wide to fit her comfortably and if sitting in it all day you want the knees and back to fall at the intended place in the chair or else it'll be really uncomfortable. At the time she was around 4'8" so shorter than your DD. The 16" chair was just barely small enough and she would probably have been better off in a 15" chair if such a thing was available (or at least if I knew where to find one). At 5', the 16" chair is probably better than the 18".

Sun is only one of the contributors to over heating. If you plan your day for alternating between indoor and outdoor attractions and take other measures such as cooling vests, ice packs and a wide brimmed hat then you could probably make do just fine without a cover for the wheelchair.
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Old 04-29-2013, 07:13 PM   #13
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OP - my son also has Downs, and definitely does not have the stamina to do the parks. He also had odd shaped feet that blister with too much walking. When he was younger, we did the stroller as wheelchair. He was small for his too and I think we just eeked by with a stroller when he was 11, but then had to switch to wheelchair. He didn't like it at first, but once he realized it was the option he was good with. Now one of his biggest concerns every trip is to make sure I got him a wheelchair.
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