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Old 05-04-2013, 09:50 AM   #16
lost*in*cyberspace
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Originally Posted by momofkids View Post
I don't know about this. My whole life has been rearranged around my son's needs. Often we are unable to plan to make our own accommodations because that would interfere with other accommodations we have made. Does everything in life always have to be harder just because we have a child with a disability?


Pretty much, yes. You just have to learn to deal with it. Life isn't always easy or fair, even for people who appear to have no problems at all.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:22 AM   #17
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I would just get to the show really early next time to get a spot in one of the first few rows. Problem solved.

Personally I think GAC's are sometimes overused when we can really make our own 'accomodations' for our kids (fastpasses, etc.). If you get there too late and the lower seats are taken....Come back for the next show earlier.
I don't think they are, without GACs, many of us would not be able to experience the parks.

MyMagic+ will help some; however, there are those of us who don't know what our bodies will be up to handling on any given day, so planning attractions in advance is not really an option.

My point with this is similar with the MyMagic+, the GACs allow us the flexibility to go up to an attraction and get the assistance we need (some attractions, that is a shorter wait, some it is a longer wait, but provides some method for being able to sit, some provide wheelchairs to use in the queue, etc.), but as a general rule, there is no assistance given without a GAC. Yes, there are unique circumstances that some CMs will allow for, as the OP indicates, but this is the exception, not the norm. Additionally, many of us are unable to get up early enough to get there early.

In the case of Lights Motors Action, the queue is actually extremely difficult for me and I can't walk up all the stairs; however, I can do a few, so if there is a handicap section that is not next to where wheelchairs are at, I can use that. Like the OP, I have a fear of heights (when I was a kid, it was as bad as the OP's son sounds like it is); however, my fear isn't of the height it's self, it's getting up there and back down (again, sounds like the OPs son's issue). This is indeed a very real issue and one that I would DEFINITELY get a GAC for, it can definitely help in this situation.

Luckily, the fear has diminished over the years; however, now I have knee issues which make stairs extremely difficult (not impossible, but if I have to do a large set of stairs, that is probably the last thing I am doing for that day). Hopefully that provides a bit of hope to the OP that the fear can eventually be overcome, but it was not by being forced to climb heights or anything, it just naturally faded over time. Don't get me wrong, if I do have to use a set of stairs that are open, I still get nervous about it (and not just because of the knee issues); however, the nervousness is at a level where I can manage it and make it up or down the stairs. That being said, I doubt I could manage it at Lights, Motors, Action, even if the knee was not an issue, as that gets really high up and is a lot of stairs.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:11 PM   #18
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I hear what you guys are saying about NEEDING GAC's in order to really see anything about the parks...And those with true disabilities I am totally behind doing so.

The OP questioned the need for it for a single attraction...For a fear of heights (which may or may not be argued to be a 'disability' but I would put most into a category of other 'typical' fears). So I took this to mean that they are able to see everything else they choose to see (likely dont' want to do Splash Mtn for example due to this fear, in the same way that my kids don't want to do TOT because they get freaked out and scared from the movie) - and do at the parks without any accomodations. SO, for this situation (which sounds very different than the others responding here), I definitely think arriving early to get one of the first rows is the right move. Now, if the child had other disabilities or the fears were to the point of not making this possible - then I would say it might be a good idea.

I'm not saying the responders here use it too much but I'm sure you are aware - it IS used too much. I have an aunt to tries to convince me all the time to get one because my ds has aspergers. We don't NEED any accomodations that I can't handle myself....Getting there at rope drop to make sure we don't get long lines...Using fastpasses efficiently and frequently, going at his pace....preparing him for the order in which we will be seeing parks and doing rides once there...But I think I am likely in the minority and that many, many would choose to get a GAC instead. One area that it would be nice to get an accomodation might be for mealtimes...When he needs food, he QUICKLY can melt down (moreso than our typical kid). So when it is high crowd time, it would be nice to flash a card and get to the front of the CS line...But even if that was possible, I would never do it. We just go to lunch at 10:30 - 11 am, before the lines get too long. It is just common sense and I know my child and that if we wait til noon and the lines are way long - he will not do well, and therefore none of us will be having a happy experience.

Now if doing all these things for my child, if we truly could not get through the parks and could not get a good experience, THEN I would consider a GAC. I just think many do it the opposite way - get a GAC instead of seeing if they could just do things a touch different and see if things can go smoothly.
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Old 05-04-2013, 08:52 PM   #19
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I don't know about this. My whole life has been rearranged around my son's needs. Often we are unable to plan to make our own accommodations because that would interfere with other accommodations we have made. Does everything in life always have to be harder just because we have a child with a disability? Without a GAC we would probably only see 1/3 of the parks that the average, dis person sees. That doesn't seem like overuse to me. I think that if you need a GAC, Disney wants you to use it. Honestly, it isn't that much of an accommodation to begin with. We still have to give up lots of characters and it doesn't shorten waits at restaurants or anything. Why should people feel guilty about using a GAC? It isn't like they planned to be disabled or have a child with a disability.

People with disabilities work much harder than other people just to tour the park with a GAC. I am not dragging my son back and forth across the park to collect fastpasses or ruining his whole day just to make rope drop. We too use fastpasses when it is reasonable for us to do so, but the point of the GAC is to level the playing field for people with invisible disabilities. We give up a lot of things, and my son has had to adjust to the cruel way the world is the rest of the time. It is nice that Disney offers a way for us to enjoy our vacations like most other vacationers.

Seriously, I feel more guilt and judgment on the disabilities board than I do anywhere else on the board.
I agree with you that sometimes it is a little much to say just always be early enough to get the best seat, then go even earlier next time if it doesn't work. (on a bad luck day, that could mean waiting 2-3 hours if it doesn't work out the first time)

I also want to ask you to step back a minute for a little perspective here. Everybody's live is completely rearranged for their children whether or not they have any disability. There are no exceptions there. I have three kids with unusual needs and even though I roll my eyes occasionally, even parents of a single child who is a perfect straight A, never whined or did a thing wrong child have a lot of adjusting to do and rightly feel like it's really difficult.
Your second paragraph, about dragging your kid around for fastpasses or ruining their day by making them hit rope drop- what would you do if your kid didn't need a GAC? I hope I am just reading it wrong, but it sort of sounds like you are ok with other people needing to plan out, have more difficult hours, ruin their day being dragged around for passes, but since your kid is special you should get out of that. That, from what I can tell, is what makes people feel like GAC's are abused.

I am not saying you abuse them. I don't know you or your situation so I trust that you don't, but saying that you should just get to fumble about and be where and when you want while others have to do extra work isn't fair and isn't really the intent of something like a GAC. It's not for preferential treatment, it is to level things out. There is give and take, the GAC isn't there to give you a benefit others can't get, it's to supplement your plan when there isn't a way to avoid a problem.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:47 AM   #20
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While I think you handled it wonderfully, I think that you definitely should ask for the GAC. What if that row filled up while you were sitting there? Without the card, you would have been asked to move. If you're son could not handle that move and, therefore, you couldn't see the show, THAT would be the exact reason Disney offers the cards in the first place - so that everybody, regardless of their needs, can get the most out of the parks.
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Old 05-05-2013, 01:35 AM   #21
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I hope I am just reading it wrong, but it sort of sounds like you are ok with other people needing to plan out, have more difficult hours, ruin their day being dragged around for passes, but since your kid is special you should get out of that.
That's not how I read it at all.
As someone with a disability, I don't think a healthy person can understand how much effort goes into doing what other people take for granted.
It's the healthy people who are special and get to get out of all the hassle.
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Old 05-05-2013, 02:36 AM   #22
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That's not how I read it at all.
As someone with a disability, I don't think a healthy person can understand how much effort goes into doing what other people take for granted.
It's the healthy people who are special and get to get out of all the hassle.
I would say that every one of us has our own needs and Disney is simply doing their best to meet those needs on an individualized basis. Guest Services will hand out GACs to the people who they think will benefit most from them. There 's nothing at all wrong with that.
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:08 AM   #23
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I agree with you that sometimes it is a little much to say just always be early enough to get the best seat, then go even earlier next time if it doesn't work. (on a bad luck day, that could mean waiting 2-3 hours if it doesn't work out the first time)

I also want to ask you to step back a minute for a little perspective here. Everybody's live is completely rearranged for their children whether or not they have any disability. There are no exceptions there. I have three kids with unusual needs and even though I roll my eyes occasionally, even parents of a single child who is a perfect straight A, never whined or did a thing wrong child have a lot of adjusting to do and rightly feel like it's really difficult.
Your second paragraph, about dragging your kid around for fastpasses or ruining their day by making them hit rope drop- what would you do if your kid didn't need a GAC? I hope I am just reading it wrong, but it sort of sounds like you are ok with other people needing to plan out, have more difficult hours, ruin their day being dragged around for passes, but since your kid is special you should get out of that. That, from what I can tell, is what makes people feel like GAC's are abused.

I am not saying you abuse them. I don't know you or your situation so I trust that you don't, but saying that you should just get to fumble about and be where and when you want while others have to do extra work isn't fair and isn't really the intent of something like a GAC. It's not for preferential treatment, it is to level things out. There is give and take, the GAC isn't there to give you a benefit others can't get, it's to supplement your plan when there isn't a way to avoid a problem.
Obviously you took that paragraph and focused on it. If you read the whole post, I discuss that the GAC is to level things out. We get up early to get to the parks, but I am not going to push rope drop if it will cause additional problems for my son. I am also not going to tour the parks commando style by running back and forth to get fastpasses as soon as a window opens. Crisscrossing the park is very difficult on my son. I did mention that we use fastpasses when we are able to do so.

We use easywdw to plan our park days. We try to plan for slower times of the year. This doesn't always work out due to school schedules. We never "just get to fumble about" the park. As I said above, we use fastpasses when it is reasonable to do so.

Many here on the disabilities board seem to have an attitude that is "use the GAC but only if there is no other possible way for you to tour the park". Seriously? That is like saying someone in a wheelchair should only use the wheelchair access for a sidewalk if they are unable to jump the curb with the chair. Yeah, it is possible for some, but extremely difficult.

Thank you for condescending to educate me about what it is like to raise a "normal" child. Our son with the disabilities is not our only child; so, we are well aware of the difference. The level of adjustment in life goes way beyond that of typical child when you have a child with a disability.

Like I said in the last line of my post, there is more judgment (for using a GAC) on the disabilities forum than anywhere else. I am not advocating that people "abuse" the GAC. I am just saying that we shouldn't make people feel guilty for needing to use the GAC.

If Disney did not offer the GAC, we would not be able to go to WDW.

Many of the "only use the GAC when you absolutely have to" or "you don't need a GAC for just a few attractions" posts come off as if people are saying a person isn't disabled enough to use a GAC. We are supposed to be here to help each other, not judge each other.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:18 AM   #24
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Obviously you took that paragraph and focused on it. If you read the whole post, I discuss that the GAC is to level things out. We get up early to get to the parks, but I am not going to push rope drop if it will cause additional problems for my son. I am also not going to tour the parks commando style by running back and forth to get fastpasses as soon as a window opens. Crisscrossing the park is very difficult on my son. I did mention that we use fastpasses when we are able to do so.

We use easywdw to plan our park days. We try to plan for slower times of the year. This doesn't always work out due to school schedules. We never "just get to fumble about" the park. As I said above, we use fastpasses when it is reasonable to do so.

Many here on the disabilities board seem to have an attitude that is "use the GAC but only if there is no other possible way for you to tour the park". Seriously? That is like saying someone in a wheelchair should only use the wheelchair access for a sidewalk if they are unable to jump the curb with the chair. Yeah, it is possible for some, but extremely difficult.

Thank you for condescending to educate me about what it is like to raise a "normal" child. Our son with the disabilities is not our only child; so, we are well aware of the difference. The level of adjustment in life goes way beyond that of typical child when you have a child with a disability.

Like I said in the last line of my post, there is more judgment (for using a GAC) on the disabilities forum than anywhere else. I am not advocating that people "abuse" the GAC. I am just saying that we shouldn't make people feel guilty for needing to use the GAC.

If Disney did not offer the GAC, we would not be able to go to WDW.

Many of the "only use the GAC when you absolutely have to" or "you don't need a GAC for just a few attractions" posts come off as if people are saying a person isn't disabled enough to use a GAC. We are supposed to be here to help each other, not judge each other.
I absolutely agree with you Robin!! It seems like every time someone newer comes to this board and asks do I need a GAC, most everyone says 'oh no, you don't need a GAC for that!' Most of the Time. I'm not saying that there aren't other suggestions that one can make. But truly None of us can determine who is qualified to receive one, only GS can do that! And why do people feel justified posting telling someone they should not take their trip??? I just don't get that??!! People come here looking for positive advice and help and often this board seems so negative...always saying that the gac is going to increase their wait time. I still don't get this. If it is increasing everyone's wait time so Horribly, why are they concerned about abuse?? After an abuser sees how much longer they wait, they are going to ditch the card and go back to a more 'normal' style of touring. So I don't get that whole thought process!

Robin,
I say you do what you gotta do to go and enjoy Disney! Don't worry about what the others on here think about you using a GAC for your child! If you need to use it all day long for your family to enjoy Disney, so be it! That is what it is there for. I guess what I'm saying is unfortunately we have to develope some thick skin as members of this board because there are judgemental people here as well as everywhere...it's a sad sad situation. Take care!
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:44 AM   #25
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I absolutely agree with you Robin!! It seems like every time someone newer comes to this board and asks do I need a GAC, most everyone says 'oh no, you don't need a GAC for that!' Most of the Time. I'm not saying that there aren't other suggestions that one can make. But truly None of us can determine who is qualified to receive one, only GS can do that! And why do people feel justified posting telling someone they should not take their trip??? I just don't get that??!! People come here looking for positive advice and help and often this board seems so negative...always saying that the gac is going to increase their wait time. I still don't get this. If it is increasing everyone's wait time so Horribly, why are they concerned about abuse?? After an abuser sees how much longer they wait, they are going to ditch the card and go back to a more 'normal' style of touring. So I don't get that whole thought process!

Robin,
I say you do what you gotta do to go and enjoy Disney! Don't worry about what the others on here think about you using a GAC for your child! If you need to use it all day long for your family to enjoy Disney, so be it! That is what it is there for. I guess what I'm saying is unfortunately we have to develope some thick skin as members of this board because there are judgemental people here as well as everywhere...it's a sad sad situation. Take care!
Well i I00% agree with this! I also wonder all the time why people are so worried about the abuse if nearly every post is started with it won't cut you wait time in fact it will make it longer????
Let people find out for themselves if this is meant to be the case!
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:52 AM   #26
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I agree with you that sometimes it is a little much to say just always be early enough to get the best seat, then go even earlier next time if it doesn't work. (on a bad luck day, that could mean waiting 2-3 hours if it doesn't work out the first time)

I also want to ask you to step back a minute for a little perspective here. Everybody's live is completely rearranged for their children whether or not they have any disability. There are no exceptions there. I have three kids with unusual needs and even though I roll my eyes occasionally, even parents of a single child who is a perfect straight A, never whined or did a thing wrong child have a lot of adjusting to do and rightly feel like it's really difficult.
Your second paragraph, about dragging your kid around for fastpasses or ruining their day by making them hit rope drop- what would you do if your kid didn't need a GAC? I hope I am just reading it wrong, but it sort of sounds like you are ok with other people needing to plan out, have more difficult hours, ruin their day being dragged around for passes, but since your kid is special you should get out of that. That, from what I can tell, is what makes people feel like GAC's are abused.

I am not saying you abuse them. I don't know you or your situation so I trust that you don't, but saying that you should just get to fumble about and be where and when you want while others have to do extra work isn't fair and isn't really the intent of something like a GAC. It's not for preferential treatment, it is to level things out. There is give and take, the GAC isn't there to give you a benefit others can't get, it's to supplement your plan when there isn't a way to avoid a problem.
I did not read the post this way either!!
I think the OP was saying that she won't make things more difficult for her child by dragging him to rope drop or running all over getting FP I mean why should she?
Disney have said that her child is entitled to the accommodation why should shouldn't she make use of it?!

I would not be able to get my son our to rope drop either we have tried on many occasion it just stresses him out too much! We also will use FP if we are able to an it won't cause any added meltdowns but more often then not it does, I have 3 boys twins with no additional needs and my oldest who does have,
I have also required a GAC after having major surgeries to my head, could I have planned out my day yes would it have caused added problems absolutely, as not every plan you make goes smoothly which is why we can try and plan all we like only quarter of the time will we be able to make good on that plan.
And this is where having a GAC comes in.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:16 AM   #27
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My opinion on GACs has softened since I started reading on DIS.

I never used one for my Asperger's son, but it would have made vacations more pleasant if I had. He is grown now and will not use one on his own. He has learned to deal with his discomfort in lines and in close contact with lots of people. He is stubborn just as I used to be. We both need to learn to accept help when it's available.

I do think GACs are sometimes abused by people who don't need them. That makes me angry. However, all my reading here has changed my opinion in that I think people who need to use them should do so. However, people need to realize that sinus issues, mosquito bites, male pattern baldness, sunburn, etc. don't make you disabled and don't qualify you for a GAC.

Back to the OP -

I know we are not allowed to mention specific stamps here. But, what I am thinking is there must be one for vision impaired people that could help you.

I'm not suggesting that you falsify information, just that maybe guest services could choose to use a stamp like that to keep you from having to explain the problem at attractions. I don't know this for sure, it's just a suggestion.

I would try explaining your situation and see what they suggest for you.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:39 AM   #28
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but saying that you should just get to fumble about and be where and when you want while others have to do extra work isn't fair.
As the parent of a son with Autism, I can assure you that we never get to "fumble about." Never. Not anytime in life or WDW.

We must be on high alert 24/7, thinking ahead about every situation and how it is going to impact our child. Catastrophe is around every corner with these kids. Every moment is planned, discussed, explained, and executed with extreme caution.

As a mom who has spent 23 years unable to relax, always looking ten feet ahead ... predicting and re-predicting all potential upcoming scenarios in my head, I can tell you that I am envious of those who can "fumble about" with their children.

I also have four typical children (all grown now) so I know all to well the difference. As a mom, I was on semi-alert, as all moms are, with my others. However, the level of stress with a spectrum child is something you can never understand unless you've experienced it.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:45 PM   #29
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However, the level of stress with a spectrum child is something you can never understand unless you've experienced it.
Hit the nail on the head.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:58 PM   #30
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As the parent of a son with Autism, I can assure you that we never get to "fumble about." Never. Not anytime in life or WDW.

We must be on high alert 24/7, thinking ahead about every situation and how it is going to impact our child. Catastrophe is around every corner with these kids. Every moment is planned, discussed, explained, and executed with extreme caution.

As a mom who has spent 23 years unable to relax, always looking ten feet ahead ... predicting and re-predicting all potential upcoming scenarios in my head, I can tell you that I am envious of those who can "fumble about" with their children.

I also have four typical children (all grown now) so I know all to well the difference. As a mom, I was on semi-alert, as all moms are, with my others. However, the level of stress with a spectrum child is something you can never understand unless you've experienced it.
You said it perfectly! Thank you from another spectrum mom.
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