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  • On Mar 5, 2012
    Leah from RI Asked Note: This answer was provided prior to the change to planDisney and may still contain references to Disney Parks Moms Panel.

    Hi How can i better plan for my 3year old's first disney trip ( he has autism) I have already read probably everything I need to on the parks, resorts (were staying at the Value all movies) is there anything i can do to prepare him for it?

    Hi there Leah,

    Thanks so much for writing.  When my son was about three, I made a "picture" book for him to help him prepare for our trips to Walt Disney World.  I printed and cut out (and laminated because I'm slightly crazy!) images for all the "stages" of our trip so that he would be less anxious and knew what to expect.  I started by finding pictures of planes, plane seats and airports for the "travel" portion of our trip.  I also included pictures of a TSA line, and explained that we would need to wait, and go through a special "X-ray" machine.  I tried my best to turn it into an adventure.  (I've always mentioned my son's disability at TSA, and occasionally, have been invited to use a handicapped entrance here as well.)  Next I printed pictures of a few Disney attractions directly from the website, as well as our hotel and some common areas (the pool, playground, etc.)  Finally, I made a "countdown calendar" and allowed my son to have fun putting stickers, coloring, etc. each of the days leading up to our trip.  I still have our "books" and keep them as a wonderful momento of our early trips!

    I hope some of my suggestions help your little pirate have a trip that is as magical as he is!  Feel free to write back with more questions or for more tips!

    Tanya
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Meet the Panelist: Tanya, New Jersey

I am Tanya from FL, full-time mom to two fun-loving boys. I have an array of planning tips and believe I offer a unique perspective on how to make Disney an amazing adventure for individuals with a variety of needs and abilities. Learn More About Tanya

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