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Autism and ADHD

Character Dining with Autistic Kids

Character dining is one of the most memorable activities offered at Disney resorts, but for children with autism, the experience can be stressful and overwhelming. Many autistic kids, including ours, also have sensory processing or sensory integration disorder. Simply put, they are either over- or under-sensitive to sensory input – sounds, visual stimulation, touch, even scents can be overwhelming. We attended two character dining events during our first trip to Disney World. Our first character dining experience was the safari breakfast at Tusker House in Animal Kingdom.   It was a very calm, relatively orderly affair — maybe because it was early in the morning! Everyone enjoyed the experience, although we did learn that our little Princess has a deathly fear of Goofy. Donald got a big kiss though! Our second character dining experience was completely the opposite. We went to Chef Mickey’s at the Contemporary Resort. The theme for...
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Autism and ADHD

Disney World with Autistic Kids

10 tips for making Disney magical for your autistic child: Bring small sensory items – a chewy, Wilbarger brush, or headphones if your child uses them. Disney can be loud and visually stimulating on a slow day. Add in large crowds and any child – with or without sensory issues – can get overwhelmed. Being able to duck into a restroom or another quiet spot for a quick brushing helped our kids deal with the sensory overload. Choose your character dining experiences – we went to the safari breakfast at Tusker House and loved it. The character dinner at Chef Mickey’s was too much. Had we known that the theme at Chef Mickey’s was a rock-and-roll party, we would have done something else instead. You can always call ahead and simply ask if there will be loud music, flashing lights, or any other triggers. Ask where the nursing rooms are...
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