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Thank You, Disney World, for Providing Accommodations for My Son With Autism

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Dear Walt Disney World,

Thank you.

Our family completed our second annual Disney vacation. As expected, our trip was fun, exciting, sentimental, magical and exhausting.

I have two sons who were 4 years old and 3 years old during our trip. My youngest son is on the autism spectrum. His diagnosis can make vacations (and ordinary day-to-day outings) difficult, but you helped make our trip amazing. Please accept my thanks and virtual high five!

Thank you for understanding that kids like my son cannot handle waiting in extremely long lines. Thank you for providing a disability pass for our family so we could still enjoy rides without a meltdown.

Thank you for providing food options for those with dietary restrictions. You go out of your way to make sure everyone can safely enjoy every meal while on property.

Thank you for providing companion bathrooms. I am sure that families who have bigger children and adults who need assistance are grateful for companion bathrooms.

Thank you for rides where my son can sit on my lap. He feels more secure sitting on someone’s lap rather than a seat, and no one ever questioned him lap-sitting.

Sleeping on the People Mover.

Thank you for characters who always took the time to interact with Colin. Every single princess made sure to talk to him, even if he didn’t make eye contact. They never questioned why he didn’t answer their questions. When he screamed, not a single character even flinched. Thank you for showing him the same love and acceptance that you showed to my older son.

Pooh and Tigger were very sweet when Colin had just had enough waiting and didn’t want to take pictures.

Merida even said Colin’s tassel looked like a wisp. She said she had never held a wisp in her hands before!

Also, thank you for Magic Bands. Life is so much easier when I just need one little band to get on the rides, unlock my hotel room, pay for my food and purchase all the Disney gear that my children think they need.

Most of all, thank you for accepting those with disabilities. Thank you for understanding cast members who are ever so helpful and accommodating. Thank you for making life a little bit easier while we are on Disney property. I mean, really, can we just move in, please? We could all learn a lesson from Walt Disney World about acceptance.

Oh, I almost forgot! Thank you for exhausting my child to the point that he slept eight hours straight at night.

Thanks for the memories, Disney!

Until next year!



A version of this story originally appeared on The SLP Mom.

Originally published: July 9, 2018
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