Thursday, July 23, 2009

Some Theme Parks offer "Disability Pass"

I've learned a great lesson this week. If you don't know me, let me share that I'm a deal hunting, bargain shopping, coupon clipping, money saving momma--and I often think I've heard of most ways to save money. However, a friend of mine in Minnesota has blown me away. Here's a great tip to take note of.

She's recently moved to the Minneapolis area and her friend & kids wanted to go with her & her kids to the Mall of America to Nickelodeon Universe (formerly Camp Snoopy). There was an error with their discount coupons so they had to speak to a supervisor. One of my friend's children is autistic and on the more extreme end of the scale. As she was talking to the supervisor about the discount coupons, she had a brainstorm.

Here it is in her own words, "I decided to ask if they had some kind of disability pass for my boy since he wasn't going to be able to ride the rides by himself and I didn't want to pay for a ride pass for myself."

"She [the supervisor] filled out a form and told me: "Go to the exit and present this pass. You will be able to move to the head of the line with four guests and will be able to stay on the ride for two turns." I was so excited! I've heard of this kind of pass for Disney World but had never heard of it for Mall of America's Nickelodeon Universe. Just thought I'd pass on that info in case it could benefit any other family."

This was posted to a listserv I'm on and several people pointed out that many amusement parks have this same option and will allow it for children with many disabilities. I knew of this but thought you had to be mobility impaired (crutches, wheelchair, etc.) to get it. I didn't realize that my 2E son with autism would qualify.

Wish I would have known this at DisneyWorld several years ago. He did best on the rides where we had a fast pass or were kid-swapping (both times you go through the exit and skip ahead to the front. Very little waiting.) At the time, I figured he just didn't like lines but I now realize all the things they do to 'entertain' you in line puts him into such sensory overload that he's finished and wants to leave by the time we get to the actual ride. He then cries through rides because he's overstimulated. Now I know that if I could get one of these passes, we'd be able to get him on a lot more rides and he would enjoy them more.

If you're off to a theme park and need this info, I hope it helps. To get the pass, most of the people on the listserv said to ask at the main ticket booth when you purchase your park passes.

*Photo credit: Nintendo DS Theme Park Game

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Great Vitamin Search is On

I'm starting to seriously look for a multi-vitamin with the super-high (or closer to the super high) quantities of many of the recommended vitamins for autistic kids. It's DAN! (Defeat Autism Now) protocol to give super high amounts of vitamins. I'm not sure I want to go that high with Nathan being so low end of the spectrum, but I do want a better multi-vitamin than a Flintstones chewable.

I'll keep you posted on what I find. And if you know of one, drop me an email or leave me a comment. I'd love to look at as many as I can. I'm finding the hardest part at the moment is finding a place to get a super-multi-vitamin.
I'll let you know what we discover. In the meantime, we'll keep using our current multi-vitamin and supplementing the things he needs most.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quick Tips

Found out from our OT about a fantastic new product from the Crayola company. It's Window Markers. They are washable and a lot of fun.

You can use them on windows, mirrors or any glass surface. Our OT suggested them as a way to help Nathan pass the midpoint of his body. He stands in one place and has to move his arms to draw. We work on circles and figure eights. Anything to get him to pass the middle of his body with his arms/hands.

Beyond that, he will focus and work on his drawings for a very long time. He created an entire story for his creature (shown here). He didn't even mind when his sister drew all around and through his picture.\
Good news--they are washable from hands and clothes and clean up is easy. I used wet paper towels to get the first layer off, then buffed with a dry towel.
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