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Old 03-07-2013, 03:17 PM   #1
RobinDragonryder
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Any advice for an unsure Aspie planning to attend Fall 2013?

I have a question: I've been accepted for Fall 2013 at WDW in Attractions, and I'm struggling with myself as to whether to accept the role. I know it's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I really really want to go. But I suffer from chronic depression and Asperger's, and even though I'm 23, will be 24 by the time I leave for Disney, I am unsure if I'm emotionally ready to be halfway across the country from my family and all my friends for 6 months. My Asperger's makes it very difficult for me to make new friends, and I'm terrified I'll just be miserable. Is there anyone who has similar issues who has had success with the program and can give me advice? Are there counselors available if a CP feels they need to talk? I don't want to regret it if I decide not to go, but I also don't want to get there and end up fending off daily panic attacks/depressive fits.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:27 PM   #2
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Maybe you could try to find a roommate ahead of time on one of the Facebook groups? There aren't really counselors or things like that but you may be able to form a close bond with one of your managers or an instructor if you take a Disney class.

A lot of people will be living away from home/family for the first time, and the CP is a great opportunity to try and get out on your own. You can always talk to your family on the phone and skype or have them come visit.

And to be honest I think you should do it. You said that you know it is a great program, so just try to take that leap of faith. If you go and find that you are really struggling halfway through you can Self term for a medical reason related to your anxiety/depression and potentially not have a No Rehire status. Maybe you could talk to your doctor about strategies you could use to help you cope while you are there or they could set you up with a counselor nearby that you could see while you are there.
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Old 03-29-2013, 10:11 PM   #3
leebee
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Have you visited WDW at all? Perhaps taking a trip to WDW before moving to Florida would make you more comfortable with your surroundings once you get there. I know this won't solve your social issues, but maybe you will feel more positive about participating if you have a picture in your head of where you will be living and what you will be doing.

You know, I think I just recently read that there ARE counselors available, maybe through an employee assistance program? I will see if I can find the info again, and if I do, I'll post a link.

FWIW, I think you should attempt this. I work in middle school special ed with several Aspies and it always makes me (and them) sad when they let their social challenges limit their experiences (that is, keeps them from attempting to participate). From your writing it sounds as if you have a good handle on your stressors, triggers, and abilities. I don't know you, but I think you can do this! Maybe if you have a counselor/social worker at home, s/he could recommend someone in the area that you could touch base with if you start feeling overwhelmed. Also, if you feel that attractions is too personally interactive for you, perhaps you could talk to Disney and see if there is a more "behind the scenes" role for you (like costuming), where you'd have fewer interactions with others. This would be based on a medical need, which is one of the very few reasons Disney lets you change a role. Also, as a PP mentioned, you could self-terminate for medical reasons, if it really isn't working out for you... But I bet you can do it!
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Old 03-30-2013, 12:42 PM   #4
Joanna71985
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobinDragonryder View Post
I have a question: I've been accepted for Fall 2013 at WDW in Attractions, and I'm struggling with myself as to whether to accept the role. I know it's a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I really really want to go. But I suffer from chronic depression and Asperger's, and even though I'm 23, will be 24 by the time I leave for Disney, I am unsure if I'm emotionally ready to be halfway across the country from my family and all my friends for 6 months. My Asperger's makes it very difficult for me to make new friends, and I'm terrified I'll just be miserable. Is there anyone who has similar issues who has had success with the program and can give me advice? Are there counselors available if a CP feels they need to talk? I don't want to regret it if I decide not to go, but I also don't want to get there and end up fending off daily panic attacks/depressive fits.
I do, and I was able to work through my issues to complete 6 CPs
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