Allow me to climb on my soapbox – Disney Edition

imageI know, it’s only been a week…but Momma has to climb aboard her soapbox once again!

So being the mom of special needs kids means many things. Often, when someone comes across an article about autism, they share it with me. It’s kind of like when I tell people I’m Jewish and they say their neighbors sisters doctors nephew is Jewish. #sixdegreesmuch

I’m fine with this though because it gives me opportunities like this one! 😉


I was sent an article claiming that a law suit has been filed against Disney for failure to accommodate a family and their autistic child. In fact, there are a total of thirteen families making this claim.


These specific claims were made against Disney World in Orlando, FL. I have never visited Disney World, but I have been to Disneyland in California with Oldest and Middle. And I will say, they were very accommodating. We went to an office on Main Street inside Disneyland where I showed copies of their IEP’s. We were presented with disability passes and from there we never had to wait more than five minutes to get on a ride. They have separate entrances for those with disabilities and that’s where we would go to get on the rides. It was problem free.

But here’s the thing. Disneyland, Disney World, both are gianormous places with bajillions of people inside them daily. I can’t think of a more over stimulating place for a child with autism. Oldest and Middle are high functioning, so I didn’t really have many issues with them. Middle got scared a few times, but nothing major. But I would never take Littlest to a place like that. He gets overwhelmed going to the grocery store sometimes.

I do believe that children with autism, or any other disability for that matter, shouldn’t have to miss out on doing fun activities because of their disability. That being said, you have to look at the big picture and assess beforehand if your child can handle doing something like that. You know your child better than anyone. Can they handle large crowds, large amounts of walking and waiting? Loud noises? If it’s hot, cold, windy, rainy…will they handle that ok? Whether or not you’re offered special accommodations, those are things that have to be considered. And I as much as I hate to defend the Disney corporation, I know from experience that they really do offer pretty stellar accommodations for those on the spectrum.

As I’ve mentioned before, the world is not going to change because your child has autism. You have to teach your child to function in the world we live in. It’s not easy and you will hit several bumps in the road. But they also shouldn’t grow up expecting everyone to walk on eggshells because they have a disability.

It’s our natural reaction as parents to defend them and make the world a safe and happy place for them. And there is nothing wrong with that…within reason. Life is full of challenges and disappointments, whether you have special needs or not. I think it’s our duty as parents to let our children experience these things, even though it’s our gut instinct to try and shield them from it. In the end it humbles you, and it makes you stronger.

*drops mic
*climbs off soapbox


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