This is our second year going to Disneyland with Emmett. As some of you are aware Emmett is diagnosed with Severe nonverbal Autism, Fragile X Syndrome, Epilepsy, Intellectual Disability, and Sensory Processing Disorder. Emmett really enjoyed Disneyland last year so we decided to try again this year. We also decided to try to take him to Disney California as well all in one day a little crazy on our side. Last year he was 2 years old he was way to small to ride most of the rides but this year it was perfect. Emmett will be 4 years old next month so he was able to ride all the rides that his 7 year old sister Amaya wanted to ride. I wanted to share a little about our experience and give you all some 10 helpful tips to make your special needs family experience more pleasant.
The red wheelchair tag was a huge help because Emmett never had to leave the stroller unless it was to get on a ride and in some rides we were offered help to transferred him from the stroller to the ride. In the ride Is a Small World they even offered the boat that allows you to put the stroller with Emmett inside and they strap down the stroller. We did not use this service Emmett was OK with sitting on the boat next to us.
2. Prepare and Pack
Things to pack if your Child has Sensory processing disorder
Comfort item: Emmett’s favorite blanket also help him stay calm which he took on the rides with him. Perhaps take your child favorite item.
Sensory Compression suit: Emmett wore his compression suit all day since the moment we left the hotel. The Compression suit aids with shoulder trunk and hip stability balance coordination, and increases body awareness. He usually wears his suit when going to a new place or family members homes. We notice he is less anxious when he wears it and is willing to explore. It keeps him calm and decreases his need for sensory input. Emmett uses jumping to calm his body or pacing this definitely helps with that and allows him to sit and have a calm body.
Weighted vest: Emmett does not have a weighted vest but if your child does i would definitely recommend taking it.
Chewy: Emmett uses his chewy on a regular basis. He uses it for Oral stimulation, and to redirect him from chewing his hand or fingers which he no longer does thanks to his chewy. He is less anxious when he is using it and has a calmer body. So if your child uses one don't forget it you will definitely need it.
2. Stroller not a wagon.
3. Electronic Device
4. Do your Research
5. Take Breaks
6.Take an extra pair of hands if possible
8. Disney California Adventure
9. Should I go to Both parks?
10. EnjoyHave a great time maybe make a small list of things or rides you must ride. (Bucket List) We make a mental note of one thing we must do at Disneyland my daughter chooses one ride she must ride. We try to do those things first that way we know our bucket list is complete and anything extra we do is a plus.
Good Luck and have an amazing time!