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Old 11-16-2012, 02:19 AM   #1
KMcCP
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question re: GAC and a cognitive issue

Sorry if I'm asking in the wrong thread! My DD5 has some cognitive issues, mainly speech delay and delayed conversational skills. She's only 5 but as tall as a 7 year old, and people expect much more of her in terms of conversation etc, and she's at about a 3 year old level. We don't need to bypass lines or any treatment like that, however - is there anyway of getting a pass or a sticker of some sort that may for example tell a character at a meet that she's special needs without having to explain the situation mutliple times a day? I don't mind explaining, but don't want need everyone around us hearing personal business all the time either. I'm not sure that she'll fall into the category of someone needing a GAC? Thanks. Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated!
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:05 AM   #2
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If she has no porblem with the lines then a GAC is likely not needed unless she has sensory or EF issues .

Most of the CM's are very attuned to picking up on our special kids, so my guess is you will be OK without anything visual to tell them.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:08 AM   #3
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My experience has been that characteres are amazing at recognizing differences in our kids. They've almost always been unbelievably patient with my DD14 with Asperger Syndrome and they seem to know just how to encourage her to interact with them without overwhelming her. In fact, when she was going through a period of time where nobody other tham me could touch her without a complete meltdown, she actually gave a couple characters hugs. Talk about water works on my part.

A GAC really won't help with this kind of thing. If you want to be able to communicate concerns without having to tell characters, I'd suggest printing out small cards very briefly explaining what you want to convey. Hand this to the character handler before your child approaches the character.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:02 AM   #4
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Remember that only the face characters talk and even when you meet face characters (many princesses), they are only going to be conversing with your little one a VERY short time. They may ask her what her name is or how old she is or something like that but they are VERY used to kids not answering them or not giving sound answers all the time. My six year old is VERY bright and VERY shy at first. No way is he going to converse with a face character. Explanations are not needed. If she does start having a little bit more in depth conversation and needs your help, just step in for her. "Oh, we are from North Carolina." or "DD just started kindergarten", or whatever. WDW is the place I never worry about what others think either....you will never see these people again!
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:15 PM   #5
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My DS17 with Asperger's was speech delayed as a prechooler. If people tried to make conversation with him, I would just say, "He's not a big talker yet." Or I would help answer the question if he seemed stuck. Some people probably picked up on his disability. Others did not. It was not problem and there was no need to worry about it.

Now that he's older, he does not like being approached by characters (or any strangers, for that matter). We did a character breakfast last year at Disneyland (my DH really wanted to do one on his 50th birthday - big kid!). If the characters tried to approach my son we would just say he was shy and they would back right off. It wasn't a problem at all and everyone had fun!

My advice would be to take things on a case-by-case basis. If your DD has trouble talking to a character, step in and help her out. Either prompt her to give responses or just answer for her. I don't think there's any need for a special sticker or card. The CMs and characters see so many different types of people everyday. Your DD will be fine
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Old 11-16-2012, 02:26 PM   #6
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This isn't really something covered by the GAC.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockShockBarrel
This isn't really something covered by the GAC.
Which is why I asked in the first place?
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:32 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
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Old 11-16-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
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I agree with handing a small card explaining her issues to the character's lead-in person. He/she will relay the information to the character. This way - you won't have to explain things over & over again.

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Old 11-16-2012, 11:07 PM   #10
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I'm sorry that I gave you an answer.
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Old 11-17-2012, 12:14 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LockShockBarrel View Post
I'm sorry that I gave you an answer.
Sorry, my previous post came across really rude - it wasn't intended to.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:43 AM   #12
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no worries. Reading intent into type is a pain isn't it?

For what it's worth, I'd treat this like you would anywhere else where your daughter has to interact with someone she isn't familiar with (hair dresser, nurse, etc) But really like others have said, you'd be surprised what those characters and handlers can tell about you without you ever knowing about it. And they're used to seeing kids of all ages and all abilities.
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Old 11-17-2012, 01:57 PM   #13
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OP, I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the character interactions. The characters interact daily with children of unique abilities.
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Old 11-19-2012, 08:50 PM   #14
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From experience, I can say you aren't going to have to explain anything to the characters.
My DD is similar in that our first trip she was 6. She towered over the other kids in the class and people thought she was a year or two older, but her communication was about 3 years behind.
Characters pretty much give the same interaction no matter the age. With few exceptions, it will be really simple until the child initiates more depth. If anybody seems confused than throw in an answer, or an "it's ok sweetie, it's just Pooh" (or whoever)

DD had no idea the princesses had no clue what she was saying.
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