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Old 11-27-2012, 12:59 PM   #16
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The post further up is the first time I've heard anything about an offer to allow a child who is not potty trained to check into the kids' clubs. They're pretty strict in saying that the CMs in the clubs are not able to attend to toilet issues, so any child left there needs to be fully potty trained.

They can certainly go in during the open house when a parent can accompany them.
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Old 11-27-2012, 01:29 PM   #17
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I have two on the spectrum. Checking in was a nightmare for us. We filled out the medical form and someone from DCL called us about a month before the cruise. They told us to get there early and they would allow pre-boarding. When we got there, we were told that there was no pre-boarding. So we got there early for nothing and waiting for our boarding number was not easy.

Other than that one issue, our family had a great time. I made a PECs-like book that gave my boys an idea of what to expect on the cruise. They knew our schedule every day and that definitely helped with anxiety.

We tried to find seats near the exit of the theaters to make those fast exits easier if one kid had to be removed. I ended up having to miss every show because my youngest couldn't handle it. But, it made for some special one on one moments with just us two in the pool or just wandering the ship. And I highly recommend a verandah cabin. It always seemed like at least one of my kids needed time in the room to relax. It was nice to have that balcony to sit outside and see the ocean while my son relaxed in the room.
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Old 11-27-2012, 02:13 PM   #18
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Dd is 12 and has Aspergers. We have done wdw 5 times and know what to expect there. This is out first cruise and we have our fingers crossed. We know we will skip the pirate party and the sail away party. We booked a veranda room. A big issue for us will be dd getting upset at night bc she wants to be home- we deal with this EVERYWHERE we travel.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:40 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TDC Nala
The post further up is the first time I've heard anything about an offer to allow a child who is not potty trained to check into the kids' clubs. They're pretty strict in saying that the CMs in the clubs are not able to attend to toilet issues, so any child left there needs to be fully potty trained.

They can certainly go in during the open house when a parent can accompany them.
I think a large part of it was that the club had such little numbers that week. The CM told me that they could assign someone to him to make sure he's okay while playing, but I am confident I would have had to check on him frequently and change him if needed.
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Old 11-27-2012, 03:44 PM   #20
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I would absolutely call Disney and advise them of his trouble spots. My son is ASD and is now 9. The muster drill is a very tough spot for us, as it's loud, close together, and lots of waiting. We talked with Disney this past cruise, and they allowed us to check him in, and leave early when he was starting to have issues.

Disney also allowed us a lower embarkation number to limit the waiting in terminal. This was huge for us so that we could get food at the buffet for lunch before it got really busy. Generally the buffet is a no-go for us during the cruise.
We had problems at the muster drill! I wish I would have known that I could have talked to DCL about it before hand! We got there early to ease into it and they wanted our DD special needs to be in the front of our line. The problem is she is deaf and lots of people were running around trying to find their station. She kept getting run over and almost knocked down a few times! I tried repeatedly to talk to the cm and have her and her older sister switch places but he wouldn't let us. We finally got into a heated discussion about it with me trying to tell him she was deaf. The woman in line behind me kept warning me that I was going to get kicked off the ship. Finally another cm wearing the kids club uniform came over and told me it was ok to switch. This was all before the drill even started! Once it started we were fine as everyone was in their right place and Sarah didn't get knocked over any more! I kept my eyes open for the cm I had an issue with but never saw him again.
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Old 11-27-2012, 04:02 PM   #21
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This is a lot of great info. My 6 yo has sensory processing disorder and anxiety. We do have a verandah in case we need some down time and my mom requested our own table for meals. I am very worried about the muster drill. For the parties, I know we can just keep him to the outside but his anxiety really kicks in for crowds especially tightly packed (he is kept to the edges during school assembly etc. avoiding the middle). Who do we talk to about that? When do we do that? Before, after we're on board? Or is it as simple as being first or last to arrive to be placed to the front of the pack? I've done them many times and I know if he's stuck in the middle of a tighly packed group of people he will panic.
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Old 11-27-2012, 06:07 PM   #22
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I have an 8 year old with PDD NOS and we went on our 1st cruise this summer on the Magic. Everything went great for us and we all had a great time. Some things that helped us was to stay on deck 10 for the sail away party to limit the amount of crowding. We also kept to regular meal and bedtime routines that we have at home, with as little variations as possible. My son LOVES to know all the rules everywhere we go, so the muster drill was no problem, as its the most important rule on the ship! My advice is to remember it's your vacation and if you need to do things differently for all of you to have fun, then do it. Hit the high points that each of you wants to do and be ready to roll with the rest. Have a great time!

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Old 11-27-2012, 06:15 PM   #23
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One other thing I remembered about that age with my son is that a stroller really helped him when in new situations. He had a shade on the top and would pull it down (or we would) if he started to get overstimulated or needed some alone time. Don't know if that is an option for you, but we used his until he was about six (yes we were those parents) and it saved us from several meltdowns. Also we decided that vacations were not a time for us to work on food issues, so just got what he liked to eat. HTH

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Old 11-28-2012, 07:10 PM   #24
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Congratulations on your adoption!

My DS also stuggles with transition and needs to know what to expect. Before his first cruise we spent a lot of time watching all the YouTube videos we could find....staterooms, sail away party, pools ect. It eased is mind having an idea of what to expect.
What a great suggestions for the you tube videos! Thanks!
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:05 PM   #25
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Any suggestions for making it through the muster still? Very worried about that!
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:21 PM   #26
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Any suggestions for making it through the muster still? Very worried about that!
Do you know what station you will be at? We lucked out and ours was in the theater....well good for the day but if the ship was going down not so sure
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:24 PM   #27
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Do you know what station you will be at? We lucked out and ours was in the theater....well good for the day but if the ship was going down not so sure
Not sure what station, we are on the lowest deck that has rooms? Is there a way I can find out what station.
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Old 11-30-2012, 12:29 PM   #28
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Not sure what station, we are on the lowest deck that has rooms? Is there a way I can find out what station.
If you search muster stations a few links will show up....not sure which ship you are on. If your cabin is not listed you could try calling DCL.
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Old 11-30-2012, 03:53 PM   #29
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We've done a 4 night on the Dream and a 7 night on the Fantasy with my 7 year old DS who has Asperger's, CAPD and ADHD. I downloaded many of his favorite TV shows on an iPod and carry it for anywhere we had to wait to keep him occupied (think muster drill ). We also bring his noise-cancelling headphones, he wore those through the shows and sail-away/fireworks.

He loved the kids clubs (he's a computer/Wii nut), so we would feed him while we were getting ready then drop him off there, instead of making him sit through the long and loud main dining room. He did enjoy Animater's Palate, so ate with us on those nights.

We would go through the navigator each night and talk about what we were doing the next day and then review again at breakfast.

He really wanted to try the Aquaduck, so we explained his needs and we were allowed to go one morning before it opened, he got to take his time up at the top getting comfortable and asking questions, and actually went down. Definitely one of our Disney Magical Moments
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:35 PM   #30
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Hi!! I'm a 17 year old with autism. I was diagnosed at almost 4. I've done well on my my 4 Disney Cruises. I hope the same thing happens to your son.
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