Question on # of GACs

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by hellokittiemama, May 3, 2009.

  1. hellokittiemama

    hellokittiemama Mouseketeer

    Aug 11, 2007
    We have 2 children with differing special needs.

    My son has autism and a ton of sensory issues and my daughter has no vision or hearing on the left side of her body and requires some accomodations. He needs things toned down, she needs things ramped up - they couldn't be more opposite!!!

    When we went last time we had a single GAC as my daughter was undiagnosed at the time. We just booked another trip for the family and I know both kids need a GAC. Because there is 4 years in between the 2 children they are both interested in very different attrractions. My daughter actually likes the shows, but requires up close seating. My son has sensory issues and needs to sit by an exit at all times for fast get away - he prefers rides. My husband and I planned on going to the same park but then splitting up where we'd each take one child and then re-group etc.

    Do you know, is it possible to have 2 GACs issued so that we can separate like this? Or will we have 1 GAC and have to take turns on which child/parent combo is using the GAC while the other one 'deals' with it?
    A friend told me that her family of 4 children (2 have disabilities) were given 1 GAC for both kids.

    I suppose just explain my situation to the cast member in guest relations, just wondering if what I'm asking for is reasonable (I think/hope so).

  2. mechurchlady

    mechurchlady DIS Veteran

    Jun 13, 2006
    You have two options.

    If everyone in the group is going together and has the same needs then one GAC would suffice. This would be siblings or a couple. Each person though could get one their own GAC as it is one GAC per person. Just in case they loose or damage one or do end up splitting up.

    Second option which applies to you is that you get a separate GAC for each child. Especially when there are different needs. In one line you may need to use a vision limitations GAC and in another line a no stairs GAC. Me and Calvin get two GACs, one for me for no stairs that I use when I am not with him later in the week; and he gets a no stairs and hearing GAC. We use the hearing GAC for shows though if he was totally deaf he could show that to a ride operator to let them know he could not hear their instructions.

    If you have a stroller you can get a GAC called a "stroller as a wheelchair" which allows you to take a stroller/pushchair anywhere in the parks that a wheelchair can go even if it says no strollers. SID, spectrum, anxiety and austistic kids often like to hide in the stroller away from the crowd and busyness around them.

    Summary is for you to get a GAC for each child based on their individual limitations. Just explain the limitations one child at a time. If you do not want to make this public then you can type up a list of each child's special needs/accomodations as well as any limitations then hand that to a CM. CMs prefer a written or oral report on the accomodations/needs or limitations of a guest. Some people prefer a written list so they will not forget anything and so they do not have to say in public stuff.

    CMs can let one parent sit down front with the girl while the other parent is in the back with the boy. Try earmuffs like the construction ones as they really help kids with sensory problems. Busy stuff, music players and games helps sensitive kids get through lines as does the stroller.
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  4. teachallday

    teachallday Mouseketeer

    Nov 16, 2008
    A GAC is issued to an individual, not a family. If a family has two kids with issues that would need a GAC I would recommend getting two GACs. You stated the reason in your original post. The two kids are different ages and have very different interests. You plan on splitting up at least some of the time.

    You need two cards and you will have no trouble getting them, since a card issued to an individual.

    May your little ones princess: pirate: have fun at the parks.
  5. Zoemakes5

    Zoemakes5 <font color=deeppink>Support me in my Disney mania

    Jun 13, 2005
    If you think it might be an issue, you could always have DH get one for one child and you get one for the other child. I'd just have each one include the entire number for your party (they don't have to be there when you get the GAC, just the child and the adult who is getting the GAC for the child), for the times you're doing something together just to make it easier.
  6. SueM in MN

    SueM in MN combining the teacups with a roller coaster Moderator

    Aug 23, 1999
    I agree with the other posters. You have 2 children of 2 different ages, so would be epecting (even without any disabilities) to go on different attractions some of the time.
    Add to that, your children have very different needs, so even if you are all going to the same attraction, the accommodations for the GAC of one child may not meet the needs of the other child.

    Your explanation as you put it in your original post makes sense and is very reasonable. Where I have heard the CMs not giving out 2 GACs is when one party has 2 people with the same needs and would be expecting to stay together (even though, as has been pointed out, the GAC is issued to the person, rather than the family).
  7. hellokittiemama

    hellokittiemama Mouseketeer

    Aug 11, 2007
    THank you for all your responses :) :)

    When we last went all as a family 10/07 my daughter was still in a stroller almost full time (2 years old) and these issues hadn't cropped up yet. We had the GAC for my son.

    I went alone with her in February and her grandmother.

    Now, we just booked a trip for September for the entire family. The kids definitely each need their own GAC because yes, their needs are extremely different. we love Disney though for how accomodating they truly are to our kids needs. We also have food allergy and special diet issues, so far Disney has been the only place we can go on vacation where the kids can eat without me having to bring their own food everywhere we go!
  8. jersue96

    jersue96 Earning My Ears

    May 4, 2009
    Our daughter who is 6.5 years of age has autism. This August will be our 4th trip with her there and our 4th time using our guest assistance card. I know when we have gotten our card it is good upto 6 guests. I would ask if you could obtain 2 different cards since you are going in different directions. If you mention this to the cast memeber they can accommodate your needs. This way you can enjoy as a family and also split up at times when needed. I am sure Disney will accommodate your needs as we have never has a problem when we have traveled. I hope you have a wonderful trip. Also get the wheelchair tag put on your stroller, it allows you to take your stroller to a special parking area and also allows your child to remain in the stroller. We used this feature last September when we went and found it easier as she was more content waiting in the stroller that one of us having to carry her and her being unconfortable.

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