Archives for Sensory Needs - Page 5

Autism and ADHD

Least Crowded Time at Disney World

Nothing kills the magic for an autistic child faster than a crowd. The noise, visual stimulation, and being bumped can all lead to instant sensory overload. Add to that the fact that cast members are likely to be more rushed and less relaxed, and the entire experience can be overwhelming. If your child is a wanderer, like mine, you know how quickly they can disappear in a crowded park. I recently exchanged emails with Christine Hardenberger of Magical Mouse Plans while planning our next trip to Disney World. After explaining that avoiding the crowds was one of our biggest priorities, she offered so much great advice that I asked if she would write a guest post here at Return to Disney. Thanks Christine! Here is what Christine had to say: Every day, I am asked this question.  Everyone wants to get the most out of their time at Disney...
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Budgeting

What Makes the Magic Happen?

Disney magic is different for everyone. As I’m planning our return to Disney World, I’ve seen a lot of information on visiting Disney on a budget, cutting costs, and so on. Some of it makes sense, but I’m staring at a hard decision: What’s essential, and what’s not? I knew when I started this journey that earning enough money above and beyond what I need to contribute to our family budget wasn’t going to be easy. I still don’t know for certain that I’ll be able to pull it off. Freelancing is a high-risk career – I may be drowning in work one week and have nothing to do (except blog!) the next. I won’t know for sure that I can pull off this trip until every last dime is actually in the bank. I priced out different options recently, and it really hit me – staying at a...
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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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