Disney Information Station Logo

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > disABILITIES!
Find Hotel Specials & DIScounts
 
facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-31-2013, 12:11 AM   #1
jenhclec
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 17

applying for gac for autistic child

Hi everyone,

My son is 4 and is moderately autistic. I am applying for the GAC for him. He gets very anxious when surrounded by people, even standing in line. When he starts screaming, it is very disruptive to other people. Do I need a doctor's note for GAC? Does it make it easier to get one if I have it?

TIA!

Last edited by SueM in MN; 08-31-2013 at 09:26 AM.
jenhclec is offline  
Old 08-31-2013, 12:52 AM   #2
Michigan
Mom of the Rolling Crew
 
Michigan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Westland, MI in the summer Clermont, FL in the Winter
Posts: 2,095

It is a violation of the ADA law for them to read a letter from your doctor, so no you don't need one and it won't help.

Basically, you will explain your son's situation and they will determine the GAC that is appropriate for him.
__________________
Snowbird living the dream 8 miles from Disney Oct-April
Michigan is offline  
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 08-31-2013, 09:25 AM   #3
SueM in MN
It's like combining the teacups with a roller coaster

 
SueM in MN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Twin Cities area,Minnesota,USA
Posts: 30,925
DISboards Moderator

If you haven't looked at the disABILITIES FAQs thread, I think it would be helpful for you to read it.
You can follow the link in my signature to that thread or find it near the top of this board. Post 6 is about GACs.

Basically, you explain your child's needs related to his disability to Guest Relations and they will tell you what accommodations they have for those needs.

You can bring a letter from the doctor along if it makes you feel more confident asking for a GAC, but as Michigan mentioned, the Cast Members re not supposed to look at letters, the important point is that you be able to explain your child's needs.
__________________
SueM in MN
Moderator of disABILITIES
Link to disABILITIES FAQs thread

Spaceship Earth: We are all passengers together.
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans......John Lennon
Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. Dr. Maya Angelou
trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr
SueM in MN is offline  
Old 09-01-2013, 04:36 PM   #4
DisMom1981
DIS Veteran
 
DisMom1981's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 1,321

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhclec View Post
Hi everyone,

My son is 4 and is moderately autistic. I am applying for the GAC for him. He gets very anxious when surrounded by people, even standing in line. When he starts screaming, it is very disruptive to other people. Do I need a doctor's note for GAC? Does it make it easier to get one if I have it?

TIA!
I just got back- also similar 4 year old. We had a great touring plan the first day. Rope drop helped us be able to do a lot in MK. The afternoon was ROUGH- we left early for a mid day break and evening was tough too- heat and crowds. So on day 2 I explained the problems of day 1 and without hesitation was given a GAC- we didn't use it once though. We took lots of breaks, had an iPod touch which helped TREMENDOUSLY and mostly tried to just go with the flow.

Sent from my iPhone using DISBoards
__________________
Ann - the mom, Tom- the dad, TJ- 5 and Aly- 3

August 2014 Trip Report (In progress) http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3324325

Pre -Trip Report for August 2014
http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3215904

July 2012 Disney Fantasy
August 2013 Walt Disney World - Pop Century
DisMom1981 is offline  
Old 09-01-2013, 08:37 PM   #5
Betty Rohrer
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 1,322

even with GAC your son can be inline with people near him. some rides the the wait there can be longer than normal wait and just as crowded in the space there. it is not front of the line, most times we were sent in the fastpass line. this is esp true if you use stroller as wheelchair
Betty Rohrer is offline  
Old 09-02-2013, 09:53 AM   #6
lanejudy
Moderator
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 5,292
DISboards Moderator

I recommend that you plan some strategies to help distract him while in line. As PP indicated, even an "alternative wait area" is going to have other people in line with you. And it could be a longer wait. Do you have enough other people in your party to create a bit of a "buffer zone" around him in line? I'm thinking DH is first, DS in the middle, and you can hang back a bit giving a couple extra feet of space so he doesn't feel crowded? Can you use toys or electronics to distract him while waiting so he's not noticing the time or the others around him? Or would noise-canceling headphones help to block out the other people?

Hopefully your trip is coming up this fall which historically has been a less-crowded time of year. That can help tremendously. Also, using a touring plan to avoid the most crowded park and the more crowded areas of each park can be a big help. And be prepared to through plans to the wind and follow his lead -- if he needs time away from the park, go hang out at the pool, or stop for a snack break, ride the train or the monorail endlessly. It might not be your idea of fun but it could be the most exciting part of the vacation for him.
lanejudy is offline  
Old 09-02-2013, 01:42 PM   #7
Stitch76
Mouseketeer
 
Stitch76's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 430

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenhclec View Post
Hi everyone,

My son is 4 and is moderately autistic. I am applying for the GAC for him. He gets very anxious when surrounded by people, even standing in line. When he starts screaming, it is very disruptive to other people. Do I need a doctor's note for GAC? Does it make it easier to get one if I have it?

TIA!
Have you considered using a stroller for him? My son is also autistic, and we found the best way to help him in the crowd was to use a stroller. We got a tag for it that allowed us to take it into lines (stroller as wheelchair tag) when we got his GAC.
It helped shield him from being so crowded, and gave him a little bubble he could retreat to if he felt overwhelmed.
__________________
Me , DH , DD(14) , DD(12) DS(7)

2008 All Stars Movies Resort
2010 Fort Wilderness
2012 Port Orleans Riverside
2015 ????Maybe????
Stitch76 is offline  
Old 09-20-2013, 09:48 PM   #8
ppony
Artist in residence
 
ppony's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Cottage Grove, MN
Posts: 5,116

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitch76 View Post
Have you considered using a stroller for him? My son is also autistic, and we found the best way to help him in the crowd was to use a stroller. We got a tag for it that allowed us to take it into lines (stroller as wheelchair tag) when we got his GAC.
It helped shield him from being so crowded, and gave him a little bubble he could retreat to if he felt overwhelmed.
This is us too. He's got incredibly low muscle tone too and he's a small peanut, so it's needed, but it's been a God-send it keeping his distances from others. He can and does still reach out to hit or scratch people, but it's a good buffer anyway. He'll be 7 on our next trip and I'm sure we'll still use it. Even when he's 7, unless somethig major happens within a year, he'll still look like he's 4 or 5...which should satisfy some judgey people.
__________________
ME-Stephanie (44) Brian (DH 49) , Nicholas (DS14), Daniel (DS7)
~1994, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2006, 2009 DCL, 2010(1st DVC), 2012 (twice), Sept & Dec. 2014 DCL&WDW, 2016 first DL trip, 2018 Flower & Garden Fest. trip

ppony is offline  
Old 09-21-2013, 10:22 PM   #9
tlpbupu
Mouseketeer
 
tlpbupu's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Indiana
Posts: 221

Quote:
Originally Posted by ppony View Post
This is us too. He's got incredibly low muscle tone too and he's a small peanut, so it's needed, but it's been a God-send it keeping his distances from others. He can and does still reach out to hit or scratch people, but it's a good buffer anyway. He'll be 7 on our next trip and I'm sure we'll still use it. Even when he's 7, unless somethig major happens within a year, he'll still look like he's 4 or 5...which should satisfy some judgey people.
We are going next month. My dd is 7 and has high functioning Autism. She speaks clearly and is very articulate, which makes people assume I am a liar about her needs. She will also be in a stroller at times when she needs it. My 7 yr old also looks like she is 9-10 so imagine the looks I got. But unless they are pushing her it doesn't affect them so they can glare and make comments while I pass them on our way to Splash Mountain (her favorite!)
__________________
DH Me DD8

Off site: 1991, 2001
ASMo; 2003, 2010
Pop: 2013



tlpbupu is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 06:52 AM   #10
bookwormde
Heading out now, another adventure
Have a good time, WDW is a magical place
 
bookwormde's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,572

Just to clarify, it is not against ADA for CMs or any other businesses staff to read a physicians letter offered without request or enticement. Many businesses have made if a policy not to take them to remove any liability that they may have been asked for or other wise made to feel that they are needed which would be a violation
__________________
bookwormde is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 08:24 AM   #11
foxxxy83
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 600

My son is nearly 7, Autistic but looks like a 10 yr old. He has sensory issues, doesn't understand about emotions, has no sense of personal space and if anything happens (esp high pitched noises) that distress him, it's like the scene from Rainman where Dustin Hoffman's character (Raymond) hears the fire alarm and gets really distressed. This can happen anytime without notice and is very distressing for others to see as well as distressing for him. To conquer this, I tend to hold him and show him anything I can (a bird perched on a bench or the way my watch shines or ANYTHING). It keeps him calm and soothed and other people are often empathetic when I explain to them. I think it relief all round to be honest. We don't get as many funny looks as we used to (or at least I don't notice as much these days as it's the norm for us). I know it will be a prob on the plane at take off/landing but thankfully we're in a 2-3-2 formation so I have booked an aisle seat for myself and a window seat for him so it should be fine. I'm going to apply for the GAC just in case we NEED it but we won't use it unnecessarily. Hope you have a great trip whatever you decide to do and just remember that you're not the only one with a GAC... I hear LOADS of people get them. The rules are changing slightly on Oct 9th but Guest Relations will be able to give you all the assistance you need!
foxxxy83 is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 08:47 AM   #12
SueM in MN
It's like combining the teacups with a roller coaster

 
SueM in MN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Twin Cities area,Minnesota,USA
Posts: 30,925
DISboards Moderator

If your entire trip is before October 9, the information in post 6 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread is still current.

GACs are changing on October 9, so if any part of your trip is after October 9, the new Disability Access System will be in place. There is some information in a thread stuck to the top of this board. Disney had released a general outline, but not a lot of specifics.
Requesting it should be the same - you go to a park Guest Relations any explain your needs.
How it works will be a bit different. If you are not accessing the ride using Fastpass or the regular line, you will get a return time to come to the attraction.
__________________
SueM in MN
Moderator of disABILITIES
Link to disABILITIES FAQs thread

Spaceship Earth: We are all passengers together.
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans......John Lennon
Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. Dr. Maya Angelou
trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr
SueM in MN is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 09:44 AM   #13
sonofanarchy
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,820

This news has devastated my family. We have relied on the GAC for many years. WDW has been our vacation choice every year for as long as I can remember. When I became aware of my panic disorder and shortly thereafter, my back issues, the GAC saved our vacations. This new plan will simply not work or make it worth the expense of a WDW vacation. Sadly, I am in the process of now cancelling a January and July trip.
sonofanarchy is offline  
Old 09-22-2013, 10:11 AM   #14
SueM in MN
It's like combining the teacups with a roller coaster

 
SueM in MN's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Twin Cities area,Minnesota,USA
Posts: 30,925
DISboards Moderator

I am going to close this thread because we are not ready for discussion about the new program - GAC chSnging to DAS (Disability Assistance Program).
__________________
SueM in MN
Moderator of disABILITIES
Link to disABILITIES FAQs thread

Spaceship Earth: We are all passengers together.
Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans......John Lennon
Be a rainbow in someone else's cloud. Dr. Maya Angelou
trip report link in Memory of eternaldisneyfan, who lived these words: Some people are always grumbling because roses have thorns. I am thankful that thorns have roses. Alphonse Karr
SueM in MN is offline  
Closed Thread



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:17 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.