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Kings Island's guide for guests and families affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder


BoddaH1994
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There was some debate several years ago about the fairness in individual guests' rights for those affected by ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder).  My understanding is that the park consulted with some experts as to how guests affected by ASD can enjoy the park.  Upon doing some research on another topic, I stumbled across a pretty cool guide that Kings Island had put out with suggestions, warnings, and offered services.

 

https://www.visitkingsisland.com/plan-a-visit/tips-for-guests-with-autism-spectrum-disorder

 

For those of you who know someone affected by ASD, do you have any information or tips that could help others?   

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I have two boys with ASD (and ADHD). Finding this info last week was what clinched the deal for buying Platinum passes. My hats off to CF for being understanding and accommodating. Both boys react differently to lines but the result is similar, we just can't do long lines without the risk of unpleasant consequences. One boy can handle the wait but the confined space and close proximity to others inevitably results in a bump or stepped on foot with a likely resulting emotional breakdown that can at times be severe. The other one just can't stand still and keep to his own personal space, a portable video game can help in these situations but the pressure just builds and becomes one of "those kids" that makes it very unpleasant for everyone else in line. Put them both together and nothing good can come of that.

It is important to realize we don't not expect or want special privileges and more importantly reduced wait times. The system seems very fair to me as we have to wait the same amount as everyone else but can do so outside of the que for the better enjoyment of everyone. My only concern is those that would abuse the system.

It is difficult to give advise to others becuase everyone on the spectrum is different. For our family planning shorter more frequent trips seems to work well. About 4 hours seems to be a good trip for us, any longer and I notice things going downhill rapidly. Taking your time and not trying to fit it all in is also key. Letting the boys drive the agenda also helps greatly with each taking turns in picking what to do next. This tends to lead to an inefficient trip with crisscrossing the park frequently but arming them with maps and explaining that their decision means a long walk helps.

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Love the insight King Ding Dong. I work with kiddos with ASD (and all disabilities).

I think the hard part about giving advice is every kid is so unique.

For the most part routine and plans work best for kiddos. So by having the kids create their own schedules or you do it is great. Changes in schedules can be very difficult. So for some kids a change from "Beast is next" to "wel lets do WWC first" can create a reaction from disappointment to a complete break down depends on the kiddo.

My biggest advice (for any kid with disabilities or really all kids) besides the schedule is bring your kids out. Talk to them in the park. Talk about the colors, sounds, and smells. Make games about the things you see "let's find 5 roses" or "let's count all of the Pink hats we see today". Help mode appropriate phrases for your kids. Have fun!

This language engagement can help generalize into the classroom and into other areas.

Lastly like King ding dong said, be willing to leave. If you child can only last 60 minutes then plan on it. After a few times plan to stay 75 minutes. If 4 hours is your max have a goal by the end of the summer you will get to 4.5 or 5 or even 6 hours. Small increments can be less taxing on their systems and it creates a new ceiling.

Have fun and be safe this summer!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Along these lines I learned on the CP Sunrise tour B & M has special harnesses that allow people missing limbs to ride their newer rollercoasters.  Both Diamondback and Valravn has the attachments for these harnesses.

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I have had one Autism Spectrum Disorder - Asperger's Syndrome - though I have mostly grown out of it with the exception of a little bit that still remains to this day. I can handle lines as well as most others, and I have often found myself to be the one deciding which ride is next whenever I visit with a group. Any length of park visit is fine with me, mostly because I typically have the energy to stay all day if I could. :P

In a nutshell, even though I (technically) have an ASD, it is mild enough that I can handle things like this as well as those without. But for those who have a more severe ASD, it's great to see the park make the proper accommodations! :)

As for advice, I repeat the fact that each person with ASD is different in their own, unique way, and depending on their needs and preferences, be willing to adjust accordingly.

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