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Old 01-16-2013, 09:17 PM   #1
harryscheeler
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Autistic kids are second class guests at WDW

Each time we go to WDW we bring documentation regarding out autistic children and their disabilities. We are given Gust with disability cards which are rarely honored without a argument. Anyone else have the same problem. I complain to Disney all the time and each time we return nothing has changed.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:05 AM   #2
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I am sorry about your experiences. Unfortunately the whole world is becoming more rude and callous toward others. It is hard to travel with someone with autism and it would be great if DW would make things easier. Unfortunately, its not going to get better. There are abuses with the cards and cm's become skeptical about all of them. The best thing, I think, is to just accept that this is not going to improve so plan, yourself, about how to have the best experience possible. Wish you well.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:11 AM   #3
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We really have no problems getting one for our daughter who is autistic. We have a letter from her daughter. Explain she does not handle crowds well or waits. Most cast members give us no problems what so ever. Granted there have been cast members who are more sympathetic or understanding than others.
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Old 01-17-2013, 06:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryscheeler View Post
Each time we go to WDW we bring documentation regarding out autistic children and their disabilities. We are given Gust with disability cards which are rarely honored without a argument. Anyone else have the same problem. I complain to Disney all the time and each time we return nothing has changed.

Just asking................what do you mean by *rarely honored?*


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Old 01-17-2013, 08:14 AM   #5
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We've had an extremely rude CM give us our GAC even though we were really friendly & polite to her even while she was being such a snot. We got the card with the appropriate stamp for our son's disability (though she refused to give us one for our younger son even though he is also disbaled...something we've learned was incorrect and we will be insisting on a card for each so that we can split up if we need to.) We've never had a problem actually using the GAC at all. We came across a rude CM at TSM (the only rude CM at any of the attractions we've ever experienced) but his rolling his eyes at our GAC didn't do anything but make himself look like an idiot. We still were able to use the card as it was intended.
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Old 01-17-2013, 08:39 AM   #6
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I've had the opposite experience. I've never been made to feel like a second class citizen due to my 15yo's autism. That doesn't mean I've never encountered rude CMs or had to advocate for my DD's needs (I absolutely have though thank goodness it's the exception rather than the rule), but I'd never say that we've been made to feel like second class citizens.

What happened? It sounds as though you've experienced similar problems on multiple trips. Is it perhaps your expectations that are off? What kind of accomodation are you expecting with your GAC?
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Old 01-17-2013, 11:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryscheeler View Post
Each time we go to WDW we bring documentation regarding out autistic children and their disabilities. We are given Gust with disability cards which are rarely honored without a argument. Anyone else have the same problem. I complain to Disney all the time and each time we return nothing has changed.
This does not seem to be the experience of most families. Maybe happen now and again, but *everytime*?? Are we just because of some of the recent arguments/complaints of abuses of the GAC?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:17 PM   #8
twilhelm
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My experience with GAC cards for Autistic daughter

I never had an issue receiving a card or using the card for my autistic daughter (who is turning 18 this year). We've been three times (last three years), and have been treated really well by cast members and characters (especially the characters!!).

There have been times when it took longer to get into a ride (Pirates of the caribbean) than if we stood in lines, but considering our daughter's abhorrence towards crowds, it did not matter. With Pirates, we got to sit in the shade away from the crowds, chat about what she had done so far, and had room for her to walk around when she needed to (without bumping into others).

I know this really doesn't need to be said for 99% of us, but the GAC card isn't intended to expedite rides, but provide accommodations for those with special needs. In fact, there have been times we were allowed into a (longer than normal) fastpass line where we had to leave before getting on the ride, because it wasn't quite what our daughter needed at the time.

Another thing we found last trip is that if the wait time was less than 30 minutes on a ride, we were told we needed to use the regular line. In this one case, we explained that our daughter couldn't handle it, and the cast member understood... in that case, we stood by the handicap entrance until it was our turn (as if we had stood in line). So even in cases where alternative entrances don't expedite getting onto a ride, the cast members still worked with us so that our daughter had what she needed at the time (lack of crowds).
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harryscheeler View Post
Each time we go to WDW we bring documentation regarding out autistic children and their disabilities. We are given Gust with disability cards which are rarely honored without a argument. Anyone else have the same problem. I complain to Disney all the time and each time we return nothing has changed.

I'm sorry that you did not have a good experience at WDW - Can you go into more specifics, or give examples?

We took our first trip to WDW with DS this past October, and had quite the opposite experiences - that's what makes me so surprised! DS was 6 and has autism. We did request and receive a GAC, as well as used his stroller as a wheelchair. Noone ever questioned us at all - and if they did, it would not have bothered me.

Not trying to start an argument, but perhaps it was the way you approached the CM's? Like, since you had bad experiences in the past, you already had an attitude figuring it would happen again? Again, I don't mean to offend, just wondering how trips can be so different from one family to another?
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Old 01-17-2013, 12:53 PM   #10
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I understand we all have different lives and experiences, but I don't want anyone with a family member on the spectrum to be discouraged about WDW. We have gone to WDW with my 14 year old many many many times, never once has he been made to feel second class.

We may run into a new CM who takes a bit longer to understand what the GAC means. We may get a few looks when he is slimming away. Everyone has bad days, but never once did I feel a cast member or another guest ever looked down upon us.
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by North of Mouse View Post
This does not seem to be the experience of most families. Maybe happen now and again, but *everytime*?? Are we just because of some of the recent arguments/complaints of abuses of the GAC?
Completely unjustified accusation!
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:49 PM   #12
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We go to WDW yearly and have never encountered any problems at all, CMs have always done their best to accommodate both my daughters needs. On another note.....is anyone worried about the new wristbands that will be required to be worn for the new system, my one daughter will not wear anything on her wrist and has lost numerous medical alert bracelets over the years. Wonder if they will let the parent wear the child's as other amazement parks do? Any thoughts??
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Old 01-17-2013, 01:57 PM   #13
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We go to WDW yearly and have never encountered any problems at all, CMs have always done their best to accommodate both my daughters needs. On another note.....is anyone worried about the new wristbands that will be required to be worn for the new system, my one daughter will not wear anything on her wrist and has lost numerous medical alert bracelets over the years. Wonder if they will let the parent wear the child's as other amazement parks do? Any thoughts??
right now they will still issue the key to the world card you don't need to do the magic band if you dont want to. you could also clip it on your bag or other things it dose not need to be worn they just advertise it that way. you can also decide what info you want on the band. they are also coming out with one you can buy like pirate theme and i am sure their be princess ones. i am also sure in the future they make lanyards or key chains.
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Old 01-17-2013, 02:39 PM   #14
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Actually the opposite for us. We feel like all of us are on vacation and can just go about our day in a way that fits two Autistic kiddos. For this reason we annual pass holders and DVC members.

It is the unknown and changes that scare us in the future.
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Old 01-17-2013, 03:01 PM   #15
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Completely unjustified accusation!
Not an accusation at all - just a question. Do you have some information that is not on this thread that would show things to be any different?
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