Single parent and special needs teen at Disney

Discussion in 'disABILITIES!' started by Shawn K, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. Shawn K

    Shawn K Earning My Ears

    Jan 11, 2018
    Taking my son to Disney for a long weekend. He has Autism, a teenager and has been to Disney 3 other times and has handled it well. The past times we were with other family members who could help during certain moments that I think might be a challenge if they arise.

    The good news he and I can both use the men’s room and by and large it won’t be a problem but oddly one of my concerns is if I need an “extended” use :)
    What to do with him. He a 15 year old with Autism and handles himself really well, but I’m not comfortable with leaving him out of my view for more than a few seconds in a place like that.

    I know there are companion rooms that can be used, but in my last visits they were always busy and a line of people waiting. Some with legit reason and some just because.

    Does anyone have any suggestions? I haven’t taken notice before, but are there cast members around that could stay with him or something like that? Clearly I wouldn’t want to ask a complete stranger but those people are really good about everything.

    Hoping these types of things aren’t an issue, but figured I’d ask if anyone has other experiences or ideas.
  2. gap2368

    gap2368 DIS Veteran

    Feb 27, 2015
    I would use the bathroom that you can bring him in yes you might have to wait longer to use it. or if you think he will be fine alone ( not sure how hight funching he is) then do that ( maybe tell him to sit here and give him your phone/ his phone or something to play a game on.

    CM are not baby/ teenage sitter please do not ask CM to watch your child for you. just not a good idea in so many ways
    marcyleecorgan and LilyWDW like this.
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  4. DLgal

    DLgal DIS Veteran

    Feb 12, 2013
    Well, I am a mom of two autistic sons. I go to Disneyland and WDW solo with them very frequently. They are 13 and 11. My oldest has a cell phone. He could sit and play games or watch YouTube videos for HOURS. And the other younger one just stays where his brother is. So what I do is sit them down on a bench or wall near the bathroom and tell them DO NOT get up from here until I come out. If I need an extended time in the bathroom (happens due to my IBS) I will text my son every few minutes and ask him if he and his brother are still on the bench. I also have him geotagged on Google Maps so I can "see" exactly where he is at any given time. It's super accurate even inside the parks. That is my peace of mind.

    If your son isn't high functioning enough to do this, I would recommend simply bringing him into the bathroom with you or waiting for a companion bathroom.
  5. Luv Bunnies

    Luv Bunnies DIS Veteran

    Sep 3, 2006
    I used to have to take my young boys into the ladies' room with me when I took them somewhere without my husband. I can think of a couple of options for you and your son. As boring as it would probably be for him, you could have him stand directly outside of your stall so you can see his feet. He would still be able to talk to you if he gets nervous about something. If you go into a restroom that is not crowded (no one waiting in line), you could put him in a stall next to yours and instruct him to stay in there until you tell him it's time to come out. If he's good at following directions, you could point out a spot inside of the restroom but out of the way of foot traffic. Have him stay right there until you come out. Cast members will not be allowed or available to watch him, so you will need to have a plan just in case. My oldest son is mildly autistic and is an avid rule follower. Starting when he was around 12, I could tell him to sit on a specific bench and he would stay right there until I came to get him. Also, if your son has a phone, you can call him and keep him on the line while he's out of your sight.
  6. FortForever

    FortForever Disney since Day 1

    Aug 16, 2011
    This is how I do bathrooms with my two grandsons. I don't make them hide their eyes, that's voluntary. They just have to face the door. :teeth: This was actually taken last time we were at Disney.

    No reason this wouldn't work with a 15 year old. Just have him play on his phone, or yours. Being autistic, I'm guessing he likes electronics. As the mom of an autistic son, I know mine always has.

  7. chloelovesdisney

    chloelovesdisney DIS Veteran

    Jul 19, 2007
    Could you bring him into one of the large stalls with you?
  8. cobright

    cobright DIS Veteran

    Jan 6, 2013
    If he's good with a cell phone, set him down with one and then call him with yours. Have him tell you a story and put him on mute while you do your business. Sure, you may end up being "that guy" talking on the phone while using the toilet, but you'll have a handle on what's going on out there and can make an emergency escape if things go badly.

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