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Old 01-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #1
ArielRae
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Question To stroller or not?

We will be taking DS2(autistic) to WDW for the first time and thinking if we should use a stroller or not with him. We don't use one here with him as he usually refuses to sit in them. He will even refuse to sit in a shopping cart basket. DH said that he is ok with carrying him around everywhere (shoulders) but I know that will get old fast. Even tho we do that now WDW is alot more walking then your normal day of shopping.

Ok so here are the options I have if we go with the stroller.

We can bring our own so when he does use it he is more comfortable but if he doesn't use it I'll have to lug it around. Guess we can have it hold the diaper bag. It is one that is a little nicer then an umbrella stroller but just as small.

Or

We can rent a stroller and if he doesn't want to use it we can leave it behind and then get a new one when he does need it later. But he might not be comfortable.

So opinions from the experienced?
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:20 PM   #2
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Since DS doesn't like a stroller I think the easiest would be to bring the one he knows While your DH has winderful intentions I din't think that is going to be a viable solution past day one
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:24 PM   #3
kirstenb1
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Our younger dd also has autism. Last year, she was 6 when we went in June. I always bring her stroller for 2 reasons:

1. she also has hypotonia, so her muscles fatigue much quicker than a typical child's

2. she gets overstimulated in crowds. Her stroller has a large canopy, and she pulls it down to give herself some peace and quiet.

Her stroller goes up to 55 lbs, and she's very small for her age, so we could easily use it this summer. She's made a lot of progress in P/T and O/T, so we may not need it.

If your son doesn't use his at the mall, zoo, etc as a quiet place to retreat, then the only reason I can think you'd want it is the sheer distances you walk at WDW. Especially on consecutive back to back days. If you have the space, I'd vote to bring it.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:26 PM   #4
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I have to agree that your husband having him on your shoulders is not the best solution. My brother in law tried that with my then 4yr old nephew, and it didn't work out very well. I think you should bring your stroller from home.

I'm not sure how big your son is, but would a wheelchair be an option?
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
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My friend took her 4yr old twins last March and didn't take strollers because (like my boys) her children walk everywhere all the time.
She wore a pedometer and on their first day she walked over 9 miles - they didn't even finish the park because of the girls being tired.
Day 2 she rented a park stroller and the girls hated it so that night she went to Walmart and bought two cheap umbrella strollers.
Hopefully your DS will be willing to sit in his stroller once his feet get tired xx
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:40 PM   #6
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We bought a cheap stroller there because we forgot ours. Renting is far too expensive.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:43 PM   #7
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My DS4 has autism too. We would never try to go without his stroller.

In some ways, though, it depends on why he doesn't want to sit in his stroller - is it because he has too much energy and wants to run around, is it a sensory problem in itself, or is it that he wants to be carried (because he has anxiety and needs physical contact with you to feel secure).

If it is a need to use energy, then I would say bring your stroller to have as a "safe zone" for when he becomes overwhelmed. There will be plenty of opportunities for him to run around and walk too! (I would recommend a child harness!) The stroller was so very helpful to us - we had the stroller as wheelchair tag/Guest Assistance Card so we could take it in lines. My son used the stroller as a barrior between himself and others when he was nervous or had to much sensory input.

If he doesn't like his stroller for comfort, because it doesn't feel as safe to him as being carried, try to work with it before you go. Bring the stroller inside where he feels secure and try having him sit in it sometimes while he is in a quiet mood or doing a sit down activity. The more he is in the stroller and happy, the more he will be able to use it as a safe zone in Disney.

My son loves electronic gadgets! He plays with my iphone, ipod, Dsi etc when he is "hiding" in the stroller - which make him feel safer and distracted when the world becomes overwhelming. Perhaps have a certain desired toy or gadget that he can only use in the stroller so he begins to relate it to a happy thing.

Good luck!
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:50 PM   #8
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Disney is exhausting for kids and adults alike, I would definitely bring the stroller. My DD4 always hated the stroller, but I'll tell ya she loved it at Disney when she was little and even *gasp* napped in it. She never naps let along in her stroller.
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:25 AM   #9
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I would definitely take/rent a stroller to at least have as an option once he tires...and he will definitely tire out. On our last trip, our dd who was 3 at the time, hadn't been in a stroller since around age 2. We go to the mall, aquarium, etc. and she always walks, but to Disney, I wouldn't dream of doing it without renting a stroller. The heat along with walking miles a day is enough to totally exhaust an adult, let alone a child. We rented a single stroller last year and if I had it to do over, I would have gotten the double for extra room, but the single got the job done none the less. Most kids are out of strollers for the most part by age 3 (of course each child is different), however a day at the mall or even a good size zoo, is nothing compared to Disney. I would take one or at least set funds aside to rent one at least as back up. I have read that many people think that their kids will do fine without one only to end up having to rent one half way through the day or at least get one the next day. We take a towel or blanket in with us so that dd can sit on it for extra cushion. Having a cover for the stroller or even just a poncho will keep it dry in freak showers and darker colored ponchos will even shield off some of the sun and keep the seat from getting hot, which does happen at times.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:14 PM   #10
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I would bring it and you can always leave it some where and go back to it. My DS was 2 last year when we went and I couldn't imagine not bringing it since there was always a time where he need a break for a few minutes. It's great to hold the diaper bags and sweat shirts if nothing else.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:21 PM   #11
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I would definitely take a stroller! Worst case scenario: it sits in the hotel room for the days you're there. But that amount of walking is hard on older kids, so unless you're prepared to carry him a lot of the time, take your stroller for your own peace of mind (and your back muscles!).
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:44 PM   #12
ArielRae
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Thanks everyone!
We are now planning to take the stroller thanks to everyone helping out.
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