Friday, September 27, 2013

A Letter to Disney from an Autism Mom who WAS Disneyland Bound

Dear Disney,

I just found out about the changes to your Guest Assistance Program and although I'm sure that you've been the center of heated outrage from others like me, I'm going to go for a different approach. I am begging for the voice of our community to be heard.

My son has autism. I am physically disabled. I have spent the last two years living in poverty, struggling just to get by. I am finally in a position to take my child to a place we've been dreaming of visiting since he was only 2. Disneyland. Only now, at nearly 7 years old, did I think he was ready to take on your park. I was happily planning our vacation for mid-October, when I found out that your park would no longer be accessible to my child at that time.

You see, all of those "perks" that you have eliminated, have now put me in a position where I am going to have to tell my son, our plans are cancelled. We can not, visit your park, because of a bunch of selfish, scamming individuals. I get why you made changes... I really do! The things people did to get these "perks"... well to me it's quite disgusting. I would wait in line for 2 and a half hours over dealing with lack of mobility, any day of the week!

Accommodations for individual in wheel chairs are totally fair, and if we visit your park, that will be me. But you left out a HUGE portion of the disabled population. In your new policy, you acknowledge auditory, visual, and mobility impairments. You mention epilepsy and several other disorders, but you fail to mention a HUGE demographic. The autism community... better yet, those with neurological disabilities. The ASD community alone represents a huge portion of the US! 1 in 50 school aged kids is on the spectrum. Your new policy effectively excludes each and every one of these kids. And that's not even counting adults or individuals with other neurological conditions.

I ask you, from the bottom of my heart, to revise your policy to include accommodations for this demographic. Give every child a chance to visit this magical place of happiness and wonder! I take no issue with you changing your policies. Something needed to be done to stop the scamming... But do it in a way that doesn't exclude anyone who may need some special accommodations at your park.

I have two choices right now... scramble to go on vacation before October 8th, when your changes will go into effect OR cancel. I am begging you to give us a third option. Allow my child to see a place he's been dreaming of visiting for years. If it was your child, you would want the same.


An Autism Mom Who Was Disneyland Bound

1 comment:

  1. Well done! So many with disabilities have been glossed over, people with pulmonary, cardiac, and neurological for sure.