I've said it before and I'll say it again...Asperger's kids today are treated a lot differently than in my day (where no one really even knew it existed). Everything that I do today, and everything that I am is because I had to learn all by myself to be that way. No years of meds, no special treatment from family or educators, no real therapy, no nothing. But I do believe that had I had the life that Asper kids have today, I wouldn't be anywhere near as strong as I am. Sure, I still can't do most of the stuff a "normal" person can do, but I can survive on my own doing what I WANT to do and, at least for me, that's a big bonus!
It probably seems, to the average person, from all my worries, paranoias, and freak-outs (or from the effort put forth in preventing said fears), that going to Disney is just not worth it for an Asper-Girl. But that is SO not true! Honestly, there is absolutely NO WHERE ELSE ON EARTH I'D RATHER BE THAN DISNEY WORLD! I will do anything, including compromising my beloved comfort level, to go whenever I can. Sure, my OCD comes into play here too and I whole-heartedly admit that I'm absolutely obsessed with all things Disney!
Every Asper is different, but most of us can agree that whatever we obsess upon, becomes the most important thing in our lives. For me it's Disney, but for an Asper who may not have ever gone to a Disney park before, it could be one of the most terrifying experiences of their life!
My advice for anyone thinking about taking an Asper to Disney is this, immerse them in Disney as much as possible before you leave. Ask questions, let them ask questions, and be patient. Let them study and know all the ins and outs before you go so there are no major surprises. Inevitably, there will always some little surprises, but know them enough to know what they will need to get through it...be it meds or quiet time or even a temper tantrum. Ask them what their fears are and try to work out together the best way to overcome them. A lot of Asper's get surprised by their fears in the moment and henceforth develop phobias from it. Know your Asper and the warning signs that danger is approaching...they can't always control it on their own, even adults. There have been numerous times I've been on the brink and my sister has brought me back down to earth.
For an Asper wanting to go solo, I would give the same advice, but add another caveat...go with family or people you are comfortable with FIRST. Learn the environment BEFORE you try to do it on your own. I doubt I would have ever gone to Disney World alone if not for my family. Not that every trip as been good with them...some have been downright terrible (i.e. 1981 - my very first visit, and 2004 come to the top of my head). Try really hard not to push yourself too far. You know how far outside your comfort zone you can go and when you get surprised by a moment, do whatever it is you do to get back to your happy place, don't try to push through it if you can't.
Maybe, if I can increase my Disney travels, I will be able to push more boundaries in everyday life! I'm planning a Flower and Garden Festival Trip with my good friend Kate over at The Suddenly Kate Show next spring and a Disneyland trip to California in 2015 with my T-Boo, both of which push my boundaries for sure! I've always wanted to go to Disneyland (it is the original after all) but would never be able to do it alone since it's so much different than Disney World (plus, different airports, different layouts, different booking procedures, different everything!). Heck, maybe even someday I'll get overseas to Disneyland Paris! One never knows!
I really hope you were able to read this series without getting too bored (or a bit freaked out by my crazy mind). I think, more than anything, this blog series has helped me deal with my fears of my upcoming trip. Granted, I still have two months to go and the fears could come back or I'll find new ones, but as of now, I'm pretty excited and even less scared than when I started this series! In the end, that is the most important thing, whether it's read by anyone else or not!