minimal verbal child at wdw /getting lost

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by wheels on fire, Feb 1, 2013.

  1. wheels on fire

    wheels on fire Mouseketeer

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    Trying think best way that if my son gets separated .That a cm can see find out he is pretty much non verbal but can understand.but cant write either due to hi physical issue

    Am planning a tag etc with name on .But wont have a phone that works in the USA
     
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  3. Tonka's Skipper

    Tonka's Skipper DIS Veteran

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    You can buy a throw away phone fairly cheap here in the states.........most big stores and convence stores have them for under $30.00.

    AKK
     
  4. jmartinez1895

    jmartinez1895 DIS Veteran

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    I was going to recomend the same thing. The one that I get my kids is called Tracphone. It cost me about $0 and it came with 60 minutes, but always check before you leave that it comes with minutes. Once you get to your room you can activate the phone. Also you put on the tag to take the child to GS and then if you get separated you will know where to look.
     
  5. lanejudy

    lanejudy Moderator Moderator

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    I've heard a lot of people mention that they use temporary tattoos. Just keep in mind that CMs will not search the child for the information - if it isn't obvious and in plain sight, they won't find the note. That means not on the inside of his clothes (tag or pinned to the interior), not in his pockets, not in his shoe, etc. In the threads I've read about lost children, it sounds like the CMs are really amazing at picking up on a lost child very quickly and even locating the parents in short measure, usually before they have left the immediate area where separation occurred; I don't have personal experience with this though.

    I just wanted to bring this up before you put a lot of time, effort or money into a "plan" that would end up not being adequate in the (unlikely) event you are separated. Your contact information has to be fairly plainly obvious or it won't even be seen or used.

    I also wanted to add one thing we do is take a picture each morning - that shows exactly what the child looks like, what clothes are being worn that day, etc. Much better than trying to remember was it a blue shirt or red shirt? when lost in the stress of the moment.

    Enjoy your vacation!
     
  6. Bete

    Bete DIS Veteran

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    It would be better if you stated his age and his relative age. The suggestions will be more age appropriate.

    I agree with the other poster. You can buy a cheap phone like tracfone and use it while you are here. Tracfone comes with ten minutes and you can buy extra minutes. Walmart and Best Buy sell these phones and other places do, too. You may get lucky and someone may help you with getting started with the phone. Maybe, you can get one where you live for the US and be ready before you arrive, here.

    There are GPS devices that may help you find him if he gets lost. I believe you wear a bracelet on the arm and then you can locate the person somewhat by the GPS tracking. I would find one that is more secure; so, he can't take it off easily. This is a little expensive, but I would certainly do this if I was visiting somewhere foreign. They are used for example for adults who have Alzheimer. You can get started with this device back home; so, your son can get use to it.

    I would have current pictures of him that you can give a CM in the worse case scenario. On the back of the pictures state his name, description of his abilities, your US cell phone number and so forth.

    Anyway, if he's younger I would highly recommend a stroller with security built in; so, he can't go off. There are some larger strollers available for older children. If he's older, you may want to consider a restraint. A restraint can look nice with a stuff animal concept with it. They strap around the waist and you hold the other end. There called a child harness, here. You can use both the stroller and the harness, too. You can get a longer gait belt (used in physical therapy) and hold the lose end or hold him at his waist. I think the harness is the best idea; I think it would be better. If you have these harnesses back home, I would start using one when you go out in the public; so, your son can get use to it. There may be some resistance to this; so, you want to get him use to it ahead of time. I would visit a zoo or some other public area like a museum with him at home and practice all these techniques back home.

    I'm not knowing how many are in your party, but I would try to surround him at all times if he's walking. Have someone in the front and back and on the left and right sides. If you can surround him that will keep him somewhat contained. In some ride queues, you may be only able to fit someone in the front and in the back of him. The ones on the sides should be holding his hand. I would practice at home if he's not use to holding hands. You don't want him to resist holding hands; so, get him use to it back home.

    With the parks, I would use fastpass as much as you can. Learn about fastpass, if you are not familiar with it. There are companion restrooms where the whole family can fit. They are somewhat separated from the other public group restrooms, but they are in the same area. You may have to wait your turn longer using a companion restroom, but it's so much more secure. It's unisex; so, everyone can be together. I'm not quite sure if a GAC (guest assistance card) would help you or not. You can read and learn about them and then decide if this may suit your situation. You need to go to guest services at the park to get them. You just need to do this once for your complete stay; you do it at the first park you visit. You will need to be extra careful doing a parade or fireworks; the crowds are unbelievable. I would insist on holding hands, here; unless, he's in a secured stroller.

    I think it's critical that you get into this before you come here and use all the aids available back home; so, you will be prepared. Children can be very resistant to new ideas.
     
  7. Rekenna

    Rekenna DIS Veteran

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    Hi there! Not sure how old your child is? My DS5, has Autism and is non-verbal. When we were at WDW the last time he was 4 and I ordered SafetyTat's (safetytat.com) for him-I put them on his forearm or his hand so that it could be easily seen without a CM or another adult having to give him the 'once over' since I had read on the DisBoards that CM's are not allowed to do that. We put on a new one every other day or each day depending if he had been swimming.

    The version I purchased for him is below-and I had my cell phone# printed on them. I know that sometimes cell phone reception in the park is not fantastic-but it was the best I could do and something that worked for my son. Also, b/c he has no picture ID (really need to get a Passport made for him, even if he never travels out of the US-but that is another Forum/Thread), I figured if security found him they could match the phone# on his arm to my cell phone in case that was an issue since he can't tell them-'that's my Mom!' :) Also, my son won't wear a tag, a necklace, bracelet or let me write on his arm in Sharpie marker (all good suggestions-but they don't work for him), he likes the tatoos so that's why it was a good solution for him.

    [​IMG]

    They worked really well, as far as ease of use-however, thankfully-we didn't have to put them to the test!

    Just a thought if something like this would work for your child.

    Have fun!
     
  8. JKSWonder

    JKSWonder Twelve plus trips and counting

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    We have done three things for my ASD son:

    1) Disposable bracelets ordered online that you could write your contact information on, name, resort info, etc.

    2) We "lojacked" him. I bought a child alarm. I had the transmitter and he had the receiver (shaped like a plastic teddy bear) that I put in the pocket of his cargo shorts each morning. If lost in a crowd, the parent can hit a button on the transmitter. The alarm on the kid sounds, allowing you to locate him fast. Works up to 20 feet. Thankfully, we never had to use it, but it gave me some peace of mind.

    3) Since my son had a tendency to run away, didn't like to have his hand held or be carried, we visited guest services to get a GAC and a tag allowing us to use his stroller as a wheelchair. This kept him in place.

    If he gets lost and is located by a CM, I believe they are taken to one specific location in the park (I think the child/baby care center?).
     
  9. StrwLady

    StrwLady DIS Veteran

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    How about a note pinned to the front or back of his shirt with a location where the CM could bring him? Something like son is non verbal please bring him to guest services and we will meet up there. That might work since you wont have a cell phone.
     
  10. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

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    you are right.
    There is one location they bring all lost kids to - if he is lost, any CM can tell you where to go to meet up.

    There is more information about Guest Assistance Cards and using a stroller as a wheelchair in post 6 of the disABILITIES FAQs thread.

    There was a company that rented GPS transmitters, but they no longer list them on their website.
     
  11. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    I can see this being a place where te new RFID wristbands could be very good (assuming he would leave it on). They could have contact information programmed into the computer system, so that when a CM scanned a lost kid's wristband they would have a phone to call.

    I would strongly recommend getting a disposable phone. There are now many that can be had for free or close to free that offer 30-60 minutes of calling included.

    Another option would be MetroPCS, they are a no contract prepaid provider. They usually offer at least one phone free or close to it an unlimited talk for a month for around $25, you can usually add unlimited international calling to many destinations for only a few dollars more. There are many locations near MCO, might even have one inside the airport.

    Since the parks all now have free Wifi, another options is if you have a smartphone that can connect to Wifi, you could install Skype and get a Skype in phone number, then keep your phone with all cellular turned off, but wifi turned on and Skype running in the background. I wouldn't necessarily recommend this option, as the Wifi can be somewhat unreliable. But it could work in a pinch.
     
  12. angelmom27

    angelmom27 DIS Veteran

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    That is the same thing I was talking to DH about regarding the magic bands. Would be nice if there a lock system when you put it on that way you could lock it onto a belt loop too. For kids with sensitivity to wearing it as a bracelet.
     
  13. cmwade77

    cmwade77 DIS Veteran

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    They say you will be able to customize them, maybe this is something that someone can come up with if Disney doesn't.
     
  14. HARVEYSGIRL

    HARVEYSGIRL Mouseketeer

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    I ordered custom dog tags off Ebay and had his medical condition and our cell numbers put on them. My son knows if he gets lost he is to show them to a cast member. I had them within a week and he thinks they are cool. I believe they were $9.00 each.
     
  15. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

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    Before we got Christian his medical alert necklace, we used write his name and our cell phone numbers on his arm with a sharpie marker. Christian doesn't much answer to his name, he is very low functioning and nonverbal. But he walks and will break away or wander off if someone isn't in constant touch with him.

    I only got one weird comment about it. A lady suggested I have the info tattooed on his arm. Really, like at Auschwitz?um, no. Not tattooing my child!
     
  16. disney david

    disney david DIS Veteran

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    May be they meant safety tattoos that wash off a lot of parents use them. But not sure if that what the lady meant but it your child you so Shea work for you and the child.
     
  17. lucifie

    lucifie DIS Veteran

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    We didn't get it done before our trip, but I've been thinking about getting our DD a medic-alert bracelet. She doesn't have any major medical problems, but she is mostly non-verbal, so I was going to put "non-verbal" on the bracelet. This trip our kids all had "First Visit" buttons. At City Hall in MK (and I would assume somewhere in the other parks, too) they had those disposable bracelets you could write on and the CM there also suggested putting our phone numbers on the back of the buttons. I told the kids to show a CM if they get lost. I don't know if a CM would have looked for it, though. The throw-away phone is good and we also rented an adaptive stroller and got the sticker so we could use it as a wheelchair.
     
  18. bean24

    bean24 Earning My Ears

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    My 3 yr old non verbal ASD son will not wear the id bracelets or safety tats. We got a dog tag with his name and our phone numbers on it, and pinned it to the back of his shirt where he couldn't touch it, but it could be easily seem by a CM
     
  19. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza DIS Veteran

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    Hi. I am a CM at EPCOT and though you might like to hear advice from a CM so you can start working through your son things he might need to do to make him comfortable.

    First and formost CMs are taught about this and we do our best in the situation to keep everyone calm. Unfortunately a CM can not touch a child unless the child initiates the contact first. So to help it is important to teach your son is to go up to a CM and either offer a hand to them or a hug or a tug at their costume to get their attention since he is nonverbal and then show them his information. The best thing I saw on a child during my time at EPCOT was a child who had a necklace with a little note card on it that said "I'm lost. My name is------ My parent's name is------. We are staying at ----- Resort. My parents can be reach here ------ (it had email and phone)."

    It was perfect because the little boy (toddler so hardly talkative but could easily get lost) just walked up to us touched my fellow CMs hand, got our attenion, and handed us the card. We had everything we needed and he didn't have to say a word.

    Tattoos on their arm or hand with the same information is great as well.

    Also since your son is younger they will take him to baby care with in 5 minutes of finding him. Sometimes a CM will stay with the child where they came up to them and another will go looking for mom and dad or they will walk with the child for a quick lap of the area to find mom and dad but in your situation a good CM will take him directly to baby care and will also call over the radios to let security as well as all other CMs know about it.

    As soon as you realize he is gone get to a CM. It is important to get to a CM yourself because you can give them a description and then everyone in the park will be on a look out for him. Also listen to the CM. Depending on the park there are different rules. I know you may want to run all over looking for your son but know that if you stay with the CM you alerted first it is easier to get him back to you then telling someone and dashing off. Basically what will happen is once we are alerted of a lost child or once we find a lost child we get on a radio or company phone and signal as such. At that point security is made aware and they watch the parks as well as entrances and exits. Also every CM in the area is notified so that they know what child or adult they are looking for. So it is best you stay with CM you first come in contact with so that when this trail of people is looking for your son they know where you are or who you are with.

    Never Never Never go to a custodial cm though. I hate saying that but most custodial cast members although they are great cast members barely speak English or they are some of our awesome disable cast members who don't always have the ability to understand what you are asking for. I only say this because I've watched a lot of them act clueless when a lost child is taken to them.

    Another great bit of advice I've heard is take a picture of him in the morning on your digital camera. That way if he gets lost you can show a picture to the CMs you tell so that they know exactly what little kid they are looking for and in the stressful situation you don't have to think about what he wore that day.

    At the end of the day the most important thing to teach him is that people with the Disney name badge are safe and he can trust them. If he knows that then if all else fails he will get to a CM who will take him to baby care and you can get him there with in minutes of losing him by just going to any CM and telling them he is lost.

    Sorry if this is a lot of information I just like to give as much information from a CMs view on this subject because it happens a lot and I always want parents to be over prepared then their kids get lost and they have no clue what to do.
     
  20. wheels on fire

    wheels on fire Mouseketeer

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    Thank you for the help .He is not autistic the non verbal is down to physical issues he is 7 but does function more around a 5 year old and looks about 3 as is tiny and can get shy around strangers in a busy environment but will not wear anything on him .

    I often end up wearing his wristbands in uk .Will try get to Walmart and grab a cell phone picture each day is a good idea and like idea of dog tags maybe on zipper or something

    Running of not an issue as such since he normally good and cant run fast ,its more accidental separation Iworry about will have his wheelchair but he likes walk to when he can, and my daughter will get job of pushing the chair as I will in my wheelchair to
     
  21. wilkeliza

    wilkeliza DIS Veteran

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    First off I want to apologize for calling your son autistic. I read the reply about the person who had the autistic non-verbal son and must have mashed them together in my brain while replying thinking they were the same little boy. I edited my reply to reflect the information.

    If the accidental separation is the worry I would say plan a few moments each day where you can let him walk in a small area that would be less crowded. The baby centers are great for this since they aren't just for babies. Tell them you just want him to be able to stretch his legs in a safe place.

    Another great idea is since you both have wheelchairs use those viewing areas each night to your advantage. They are usually roped off (or at least the ones in EPCOT are) and the CM are usually very protective of the kids in them. I use to work that area every night in EPCOT and I always loved playing with the kids in the area especially those who were getting their stretch for the night. Also a stop by guest relations at each park would be beneficial. They can give you some pointers of queues and areas of the park that would be great to let him walk around in and explore that are also easy to monitor him in.

    Also remember Disney is the best for guests with disabilities and I'd go as far as to say 90% of CMs will be more than willing to help and even play if you need help while he is walking about that way you have several eyes on him.

    Also I hope I'm not coming off as rude or anything. I try to be helpful and on another Disney forum I was told I was being rude for suggesting asking for help so I just want to be clear I'm not trying to be rude just offer suggestions so that you know all your options. I hope you have a fabulous vacation.
     

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