Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why we haven't been to Disneyland yet.

I took my neighbors to the airport this morning.  They are on their way to Disney World right now.  They go often to any Disney thing they can do, and even worked for Disney for a few months.

My little kids, however, have never been to Disneyland.  They are 11 and 13 years old. We live in California.  The closest we've been was on I-5 passing through Southern California.

Why not?

A friend asked me that the other day.  The answer is simple.  My kids have sensory issues that make happy exciting things turn into either meltdowns or disassociated behaviors.  Yes, the problems are less common now than in the first few years, but they still happen.  When things get loud, bright, stimulating, out of the ordinary, or just plain exciting, their brains, crippled by FASD, trauma, PTSD, etc., just can't handle it.  Disneyland is bright, stimulating, out of the ordinary, and *very* exciting.  Adding to the stimulation, one of them mixes up feelings.  He will say he's bored when he's hungry, hungry when he's overstimulated, tired when he needs to go to the bathroom,  etc.  The other will stare like a deer in the headlights and not be able to say her name if she is overwhelmed.

There are things we do to help with the sensory issues.  Sunglasses, I pods with earbuds, limited time being stimulated followed by a decompression in a quiet place are things that we have done that have helped. The kids can handle about two hours of excitement, but not much more.  We have amusement parks in the area.  Some years we get a pass so that we can leave after a couple of hours.  Unfortunately, if I pay more for a day in Disneyland than for a year pass somewhere else, I'd want to stay the whole day. And it would be difficult to find a quiet place in a small area filled with thousands of people and rides.

Maybe the kids will heal enough to go someday, but they aren't quite there.  And you know what, they really haven't asked to go.  Maybe they understand their limits more than I think.

No comments:

Post a Comment