Family Matters

Changing the WorldFamily MattersTravel

Why National Geographic Is To Blame For All Of This

Charles Darwin Science Station

& How we are using Nat Geo as our best tool on the road

One of the most vivid, core memories I have as a child is running down the hallway of my grandparents house. Their dark blue, psychedelic carpet and powder blue bathroom sink stamped forever in my brain.

As my cousins and I play hide and go seek, I head to my favourite place to hide. A waist-high closet you had to crawl up in to at the end of the hall.

As I pop open the closet door, a secret world reveals itself to me. Stacks upon stacks of yellow bordered magazines sit at the base of the closet and I suck in my breath out of sheer wonder of it all .

National Geographic.

I’m not sure if my grandparents realized the gift they bestowed on us. Years of a National Geographic magazine subscription opened so many doors to discovery. Different cultures, natural phenomenons, extraordinary animals and a global group of people & their ways of life kept me company for hours. I was hooked. Every time I stayed over at their house I would sit in the closet, eagerly devouring so many incredible stories of our world.

Our love as a family for National Geographic runs deep.

Turtle breeding centre Charles Darwin Science Station

For my husband and I, it feels as much a part of our youth as pet rocks and smelly stickers.

For our children, the legacy has continued both traditionally and in an entirely new way.

For them, this whole wealth of information was introduced through a series of National Geographic Kids books on everything from ocean life, blue whales, sea turtles and Weird but True facts. These books are phenomenal and I can’t express enough how good they are for learning with your kids. We weren’t able to take the books on the road (*ahem*: 2 backpacks people..2 backpacks only for 8 months) but when we do have wifi, we are in fact tuning in from the road to the National Geographic Weird But True TV series that recently launched as both kids continue to love these quirky facts & are making it a game in searching their own on the trip.

How often do you find a real shrunken head in a museum along with directions on how to shrink them? Found at Solar Intinan beside Mitad del Mundo

Why blame National Geographic?

A beautiful piece of Autism is to become so deeply enamoured with a subject matter that you can’t hardly talk about anything else. Through the years of managing Autism with our son, we have seen many an obsession. When he started exploring those National Geographic Kids books, it created a love so deep for our oceans, for Blue Whales and for those “cool facts”, it became his go-to topic of discussion. It was a phenomenon to witness and one that we were happy to support his exploration of.

DYK: The highest density of Blue Whales is off the coast of Sri Lanka?

Neither did we. Until we heard about it for many, many months.

When the dialogue started about this round the world trip, that fact, was one of the first parts of the conversation. “What if we could take Spence to Sri Lanka to SEE the Blue Whales first hand? Can you imagine?” “How can we utilize both kids love of animals as a way to connect and engage with them?” “What if ….”

And so it began.

Nothing better to talk through volcanos and tectonic plates than by trekking up one on horseback. 4100m on Pinchincha
Nothing better to talk through volcanos and tectonic plates than by trekking up one on horseback. 4100m on Pinchincha

The New Way

If you want to get creative and engage kids, I can’t recommend enough following National Geographic on Instagram and SnapChat. Living and working in social media, I have to say their social engagement is some of some of the most impressive brand work I have ever seen in the social stratosphere. I started showing our daughter the incredible imagery & stories they post daily. As a 9 year old who is nowhere close to having an Instagram account (but thinks it’s wicked cool), it has become a way for us to get her engaged and create meaningful dialogue on different elements of the world.

I was lucky to meet the team from National Geographic at the Mom 2.0 Summit conference last year. In sharing stories of our plan for this Global adventure, we had the incredible fortune of being named one of this year’s National Geographic Kids Ambassadors. This role is a cornerstone in our global adventure and in fact has made far more of an impact than we ever thought possible.

These lovely creatures are native to the Galapagos but are being watched do to invasive species affecting their mortality rates. It's been hard to know that we, as humans are directly responsible for the demise of so many incredible animals.
These lovely creatures are native to the Galapagos but are being watched do to invasive species affecting their mortality rates. It’s been hard to know that we, as humans are directly responsible for the demise of so many incredible animals.

We have already begun to change.

The only way I can describe it is noticing that everybody is pregnant when you become pregnant. I sense us already far more AWARE of the impact we as humans can have. Everything from how we travel, cultures, environment, climate, mother nature & more, we are discussing it often. Exciting and uncomfortable all at the same time, it feels like a necessary part of our journey to feel this discomfort in order to learn how we might be able to make a difference.

I jokingly blame National Geographic for all of this but I couldn’t be more grateful. Somehow connecting with them this early in the trip has opened our eyes to a more significant and deeper experience. So yeah, I blame you,  National Geographic and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.




read more
Family MattersReal Life

Kon Mari Like a Mother : Day 1 : THE CLOTHES

no thumb

Part 1 : The Clothes

It really DID change my life.

If you don’t know what I am referring to, I am talking about Marie Kondo’s book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up also known as the Kon Mari method.

Marie Kondo’s book has sold millions of copies all over the world in people’s quest to gain sanity on the clutter that takes up their world. Her belief is that once you keep only things that make you feel good (aka Spark Joy), you rid yourself of the chaos around you, and help put your mind at peace.

I have to agree that Marie was totally right about many things in her book. I 100% did in fact feel more at peace when this process was complete. I DO think it is totally worth it to do it and will tell you at the end of this series how it changed us.

If you are anything like me, you look to September as almost another New Year. A fresh start as the kids get ready to go back to school. Summer is too full of fun and activity to be indoors, so once they are back at school and routine is back to normal this is a great time to jump into Kon Mari.

I am offering the cheat sheet Coles Notes version of Kon Mari for you in this series where we will talk about top tips, include vlogs about time, effort, and emotions and bundle it all up for you to check out at your leisure.

So let’s jump in shall we?

First stop, your clothes. 

Why you first? Let’s be honest, if you are reading this its because you are likely leading this charge.  It’s important to get comfortable with this process before encouraging anyone else to.

1) Go All In.

This is KEY. A big difference in doing Kon Mari vs just doing a typical purge of your house is the focus on categories vs rooms. Essentially you take every last stitch of clothing you have, put it in a huge pile and sort.

As you pick up a piece of clothing, you ask yourself “Does this spark joy?” to help you decide to keep it or leave it.

I know, what on earth does that mean?

  • It means that if you have a pair of pants that you’ve been keeping in your closet for the last 3 years waiting till you get back to the weight you once were, get rid of them. They don’t spark you joy. They make you feel miserable because you aren’t your old weight.
  • It means if you have a top with its tag on that you’ve never worn, you are not going to and its just taking up valuable space in your closet and in your head. Gone.
  • It means sometimes we keep things for sentimental reasons but the clothes no longer suit us. Have a T-Shirt that you can no longer wear out in public because of the holes or stains? Find a way to mark the memory and let it go. If it’s not useful it’s not serving you.

Once you pick up the piece of clothing, you check in as to whether or not its worth keeping. You thank it for its service. (I thought this was a bit kooky but it did make sense after awhile.)

Then you make a choice. Keep or Go.

Thank it for its service?

Here’s how it works:

  • The clothes with the tag still on? It served you by showing you what not to buy in the future and perhaps be more cautious in what you spend money on.
  • The smaller size clothes? It served you at the time you wore them but no longer does. I still kept ONE outfit to work towards but the other 6 pairs of pants, 5 dresses and 6 tops were donated.
  • The dress that has the hem loose and is currently held together inside by duct tape. Decide. Is it feasible to fix properly or has it reached its limit of service?

2) You GOTTA Let That Go.

Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster. Clothes are a protective layer to your onion. You can disguise, hide, cover up or show yourself off in what you wear. Like music, clothes can instantly take you back to a special moment in your life. The question becomes, are you only holding onto a piece of clothing to spark a memory? If so, think of the space its taking up in your world. Is it worth the compromise keeping a piece of fabric for the purpose of a good recollection or are there other ways you can keep that memory close without the physical consumption of space?

3) Discover & learn about yourself.

As you do Kon Mari, you start to see patterns emerge. Discovering how you purchase and why you purchase can make huge in-roads in finding those pieces that spark joy. Learn from them. Use them to define how you purge and how you will function in the future. When you see it all at once, the specifics of your habits become readily apparent.

Through our Kon Mari process, I discovered a few things:

  • I love the colour blue and I have bought clothing simply based on the beauty of the hue even when the fit doesn’t fit.
  • I like having an outside pocket for my phone in my purse and one that fits my laptop. I also love handles that sling over my shoulder. Missing those elements and it was easy to get rid of any that didn’t fit my criteria.
  • I buy empire waist shirts and then realize when I get home that I look 5 months pregnant. I buy them because I THINK they will look good. When I ultimately put them on, they go back into the closet.
  • I love shoes. Who doesn’t.
  • I have 41 sweaters ALL with sleeves that cozily pass over my wrists, with no buttons and spread in shades from charcoal to smoke.

Kon Mari takes time.

Know that & not stress out if it’s not done in one weekend. Take your time. This is an emotional experience but one so, so worth doing.


Clothes Purge 4 hours.

4 Family members.




read more
Family MattersReal Life

How to Kon Mari Like a Mother ….

There is always something to be thankful for.-2

Cleaning up and Cleaning House.

Part 1

Lie back and relax while you play out this fantasy.

A tidy, streamlined closet with absolutely everything in its place..

Mmmm..tell me more you sexy beast…

Organized, folded drawers that allow for easy access to ALL your clothes not just the ones on top…

Ohhh god right there…yesssss…I like it like that…I’ve just never had it like that…

Space, to actually put things neatly in places like toy chests, desks, and storage areas…

Oh my god…Oh my god….Ohh Ohhh Ohhhh god yes PLEASE…

A chance to ease the chaos in your mind…

Sweet Jesus..that talk is so dirty it’s clean…

A beautiful, decluttered house that sparks joy everywhere and allows for you to fully breathe through your space.

Yes! Oh my God! Yes! YES!!!! YES!!!!!!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEESSS!

Come on. Tell you wouldn’t be completely orgasmic to have your house perfectly clean?

Every single thing in its place.

Ohhhhhh I get shivers just thinking of it.

When I first caught wind of the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I have to say I was a skeptic. A pro purger and tidy-upper, words like “Spark Joy” wasn’t sparking anything with me. I’m pretty sure the words “Spark Joy, my ass it does” came out of my mouth as curiosity got the best of me and I went out to buy the book.

I did the Kon Mari purge exactly one year ago and every time I wanted to write my take on the process, I realized there was larger story to be told.

One big thing kept bothering me through the experience and I couldn’t put my finger on it till recently.

The first (and most important) thing to understand about doing Kon Mari is that Marie Kondo was most definitely NOT a mother when she initially wrote this.

Don’t get me wrong, the satisfaction when you’ve completed the Kon Mari process is beyond your wildest dreams. It is however, most definitely a process. One that exponentially grows the more people you have to care for in your family. Marie Kondo’s account of tidying up and clearing your space relates to one person’s clutter. A family of clutter is a whole other ball game.

Screen Shot 2016-08-18 at 2.50.46 PM

I love things to be quick & easy. Get me on the Googles or the YouTubes and I am one happy camper. I totally recommend buying the book, The Life Changing Magic of Tidying-Up.  It will give you great insights on the why to things like Spark Joy and letting go. Want to watch her How-To’s. Easy. They are right here.

However , for those of you who are just looking for the Coles Notes version so that you can jump in and get ‘er done, I will be publishing a complete package of (discoveries, tears, messes and all) in this Kon Mari like a Mother Series of posts.

You can laugh along with my live streaming YouTube videos or you can read the posts as you wish.  The videos are simply to let you know that yes, I experienced the same things as you are going through now.

What I CAN say as well, is that it really is worth it doing Kon Mari.  It helped calm my mind, & improved many of the ways in which we manage our lives better. It helped us examine the way we function as a family, how we spend our dollars and where our focus/values sat. It showed me patterns of behavior and places we could do better. It even helped us “let go” of a lot more than we ever thought possible.

In fact, it really did change our lives.


read more
Family MattersKids CornerReal Life

What We Learned This Summer – The Science of Being Busy


Summer was good. Really good.

I don’t know if it’s because we are leaving soon but this summer felt very special.

Like we had done something right.  We had figured out the science of busy, but this summer spent time in a whole new classroom and this is what we learned.

The importance of letting go of BUSY

We have all been guilty of “being busy”. That busy easily creates when we are just so fucking tired we have to cancel on dinner/lunch/coffee/drinks/get togethers/theatre dates/you name it. More often than not that busy stems from the work you are doing, not the fun you are having. So here’s a stinker: If tomorrow is your funeral, do you think anyone is going to stand up and say “They did a great job of being busy”? No. They will not.

Being active was a key priority
Being active was a key priority

Society has taught us that busy behaviour. Now it seems, everything needs to be scheduled, plans need to be made, children constantly are asking to be amused. (How many of you were ready to push your kids in the lake if they asked one more time, what should we do now?) We are busy monsters who have created busy monsters. We are so ingrained in doing instead of being that it feels like a guilty pleasure to just relax for a second.

This spring, we made the decision to not schedule the kids for anything. Not one single parks & rec program or camp. Slowing the pace down and simply enjoying time together was one of the most difficult & most rewarding parts of this summer. It took a shift in perspective to make all the difference. Here I was so concerned about the “should” and doing stuff that I was missing out. Missing out on the point that giving the people I was with my undivided attention was ACTUALLY what I was supposed to be doing. When the people became the focus, the gratitude came along with it. We made it our intention to carve out time with good friends, and to relish in making memories with them.

Memories like these will last a lifetime for these two
Memories like these will last a lifetime for these two

We learned: The value of time (& how precious it is). Appreciation of good friends and how important they are to your life. Being in the now. Being an active listener allows us to truly connect deeply in conversations & dialogue. 

Nothing is at it seems on social media

I have to admit the dew fell off the rose a bit when I learned that an instagrammer that I really admired ran their photos through 6 different photo and filtering apps before they publish. Yes, they are beautiful and largely because of those filters but I am really enjoying the raw parts of life these days.

Facebook updates account for very little of real life. It is so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing & Facebook knows that. That’s why they give you all kinds of algorithmic sponsored content that completely freak you out and start those “should” feelings again pretty fast.

Social can be a place for bullies, opinions, and tormentors. The content can lead to misunderstanding when how it is read differs from how it was intended to be read. I have may have alienated some friends because we have differing political, gender and race views. So be it. Dialogue is important, essential in fact, but there will always be someone with a different opinion.

Social accounts for 1% of someone’s life. There are so many layers below the surface that its important to remember that you never know anyone else’s story. Take time to connect on a deeper level. This summer was an odd one in which people shared so many stories that seemed completely counter to what they were posting online. Many times there were cries for help and a deep sense of sadness lurking beneath the surface of the happy public posts.

We learned: Don’t believe the hype. It’s important to speak your voice to support causes you believe in. Compassion, for us, is at the core of our value system and one exercised deeply this summer. 

Father & son moments that will catch you right in the throat
Father & son moments that will catch you right in the throat

You are what you eat.

I know of already knew this one. No truer is that statement than after a summer delightfully full of Coronas, G  & T’s, Prosecco, Sangria, Backyard BBQ, Late night chips over Sequence at the cottage and patio lunches with friends. It has been an absolutely fabulous summer and we enjoyed it all. No regrets.

We learned: Not to be angry with ourselves. September is our chance to reset. Healthy, clean eating is on the menu. Daily workouts are a focus for us to work towards getting stronger. 


Other things I learned this summer

  • Being open, honest & candid about one’s life can be actually one of the most freeing things in the world
  • Gratitude fills you up fuller than any meal
  • Giving back & paying it forward are two of the most important lessons we can teach
  • Nature is the best playground to play in
  • Taking on a challenge and seeing it through can give you a HUGE sense of accomplishment & a big dose of what were you thinking
  • That I like to Soca dance but can’t get my hips moving the way I want them to (see: Whining)
  • Music can bring a country together and that saying goodbye to The Tragically Hip kind of felt like an official goodbye to my youth
  • Recovery takes a lot longer than I realized (& I suck at patience)
  • Finally getting a breast reduction after so many years of thinking about it makes me wonder what took me so long?
  • Asking for help has been one of my biggest challenges.
  • I have an amazing husband and friends who when you actually ASK for help are SO there
  • Time really doesn’t stand still for anyone. Waiting for something to happen holds you back on enjoying what’s happening now.
  • Life is beautiful.
read more
Family MattersReal LifeTravel

Finding the Edge of Comfortable

Go far

When everything feels icky & squirmy & totally uncertain

Mom Says:

I was a bulging, sweating, 8 months pregnant hot mess in the middle of one of the hottest heat waves we have ever experienced. My husband will recount to you tales of woe and suffering as he endured the words “I’M UNCOMFORTABLE!!” more times than I care to remember. It has become a standing joke between us, one that is typically accompanied with boohoos and mockery to indicate said Uncomfortablist is being entirely unreasonable.

On a happier pregnant days
On a happier pregnant day at the cottage

The word comfort has been an enemy in so many ways throughout my life. At the start of our marriage, I would share with my husband (often) my thoughts that the minute we were comfortable, we were done for. Comfortable meant being normal, stagnant, conforming and lacking passion. I didn’t want us to ever get there. I wanted us to strive for date nights and spicy moments so that the notion of comfort would never take hold.

I am often found pushing myself past my comfort zone. Whether it’s skydiving, scuba diving, motorcycling, bungee jumping, or climbing mountains, I have done it all. At the start of every one of these adventures, I am scared poopless. Every. Single. Time. Until I do it & then realize that that wasn’t so bad after all.

The whole fam came out to support me when I jumped out of a plane. I hope we are teaching our kids to be fearless.
The whole fam came out to support me when I jumped out of a plane. My only hope is that we are teaching our kids to be fearless.

I like it & I don’t like it. It feels icky and squirmy and often disagreeable. Yet something about pushing through the hard parts, to conquer and achieve a challenge on the other side makes it so worth the initial grossness of it all.

The thing is, I have started to think of my comfort zone as exactly that. It’s just a zone. It’s not your prison cell. Your zone can take on different shapes or sizes. The more we push, the bigger our space of allowable adventure becomes. We just have to keep pushing out the walls.

As we hit our 3 month window before we leave on our #CuppaRTW Round The World trip, I have recognized I have that uncomfortable feeling once again. This feels new for me because this time it’s not just me getting out of the zone. We as a family are taking this on, all parts of it feel foreign and unsettled.

I have been trying to explore what is actually causing these whirl-a-gig butterflies inside me and I think for the most part I have figured it out.

  1. We are planning to not plan which for a planner makes things all kinds of up in the air. I feel like I’m on a roller coaster that’s pulled out of the station and already on the ride but need to get past the urge to hold my breath through the whole thing because its a long time before its over.
  2. I am curious how we are going to manage surviving as a family 24/7 over the next many months. We are a strong team and we all love each other dearly but we already know we are going to plan for breaks or we will end up killing each other before we get out of South America.  We have even invented a safe word to roll out on the days for the kids (or each other) are driving us so batty that we might say something we regret. We are also planning on taking days in which one of us takes the kids and in which we each take one kid to keep things different and exciting.
  3. Very soon, we will no longer have a home. We are letting go &  rid of most of our stuff. The grounding stuff. As we start packing up, we are starting to work on how to create a new version of “Home” for us & the kids. We will have no place to come back to and the concept of coming home will now have to truly live in “home is where the heart is”. So how do we teach that to our kids?

I know these are all just growing pains as we start this new chapter in our life. I just can’t wait till my brain is settled on the other side and starts feeling more comfortable (baahaaahaa) with it all.

Climbing Kili was something I thought impossible. Until we did it.
Climbing Kili was something I thought impossible. Until we did it.

Dad says: 

oh, the pain of comfort…

I am, unlike above, comfortable with comfort to a point.  The balance I constantly try to strike is to look around and appreciate accomplishments before running off to literally jump of a cliff.  There is little joy in a life so hectic that you forget to breathe, look around, smell the roses, you know, LIVE…

Part of joy is enjoy, which is a poorly spelt word that should be in-joy.  Get in the moment, relish it, then set you sights on the next adventure.

read more
Family MattersTravel

12 Ways to Survive Disney With Special Needs


For many parents the thought of a Disney Vacation brings visions of apocalyptic temper tantrums, crying, hungry and over-tired children.

For parents of children with special needs top that with a tenfold of anticipated stress and anxiety that accompanies the thought of maintaining a manageable environment while “doing Disney”.

Our main goal was to make this trip as easy and enjoyable as possible. Thinking through the many catalysts that could trigger a breakdown & the tools that we could use to manage them, here’s how to take the cringe-worthy worry out, survive Disney with special needs, and keeping everyone smiling.

12 Ways to Survive Disney with Special Needs

1) Teach Spontaneity

I know this sounds kind of ridiculous but kids with Special Needs (especially ASD/Autism) thrive on routine. Yet life doesn’t adhere to a particular schedule no matter how hard you try. We spent a lot of time prior to the trip working on “what if’s” and “Big deal or little deal?” scenarios. Our goal was to get the kids ready for plans not working out the way they should and keep expectations of routine low.

Another way to get to & from Disney is by boat from the Polynesian

2) Be Strategic

As we started planning, we looked at the busiest traffic times of Disney and chose one of the lowest of the year. This allowed for low volume line-ups and often discounts on packages and accommodations. We think this is one of the MOST important parts of being able to survive Disney with special needs.

  • For the record, we went Sun-Thurs the first week of November which rarely saw a line-up over 20-30  minutes & allowed us to experience many more rides in a day.

3) Make it EASY 

We booked our flights and hotel using Expedia, which offered comparisons and made choosing simple and quick.  To save money, we flew out of Buffalo to Orlando, and then took the Magic Bus to Disney.  This direct and comfortable shuttle system took our luggage straight to our hotel, and our bags were delivered shortly after we arrived directly to our room.  This made getting through the airport a snap, which is rather incredible and definitely something I recommend for anyone travelling with children, special needs or not.

4) Stay on site

We chose The Polynesian Resort for a couple of key reasons. The first, is that it is one of three on-site resorts that connect to Disney via the Monorail. We got an incredible deal for a multi-family room making access to and from the park quick, easy and fun throughout the day. It is also the best resort to watch the fireworks nightly with a perfect sightline to the show without the overwhelming loudness and crowds inside the park.

Bedroom at The Polynesian Resort - Disney World
Our Multi-Generational Room included 2 Double Beds, A pull out, Fridge and Microwave

Everything Disney when you enter your room at The Polynesian Resort

5) The Magicband

Shopping at the Animal Kingdom - Disney World
Shopping inside Disney World was an easy distraction

Staying on site also gives you access to the Magicband that goes with booking at any Disney World Resort. Truly one of Disney’s smartest additions to the park and makes life so simple with customized Disney experience. Your Magicband is everything. From your hotel room key, FastPass+ access, your wallet throughout all the resorts and Disney World. You are able to purchase food, drinks & souvenirs in Disney using the Magicband which made walking around so much easier.

6) FastPass +

The FastPass is a god-send for special needs parenting as it allows you to pre-book 3 rides in advance each day. This can be done via the Disney app, and provides a specific time you are “reserved” to head to the ride. Any opportunity where we can prevent angsty waiting is incredibly powerful in our world.

*FastPass+ bookings can be done 30 Days in advance. 

7) Disney Parks Disability Access Service Card (DAS Card) 

The DAS Card allows persons with special needs, be they apparent or not, to arrive at a ride and receive a time to come back.  So instead of standing in line for an hour, we could leave and come back later, which reduced our wait time in the actual line considerably, and gave us the flexibility to do other things that would contribute to our Disney visit in a positive way.  We got ice cream, saw characters, took a bathroom break, shopped and occasionally just sat down for a rest till it was time to go back to the ride.

Grand Entrance & Intro show - Disney World
Just past this entrance to the left is the area you apply for a DAS, to the right is Mickey Mouse
Finding Fairy Godmother just behind the castle - Disney World, survive Disney with special needs
You will find Fairy Godmother just past the castle

8) Take Breaks

Staying so close also allowed us to choose when we were going to take some “breaks”, heading back to the hotel pool to refresh and regroup, providing some peaceful downtime before we headed back to the park. With the Monorail 5-7 minutes to the park, it allowed us the flexibility we needed to manage those moments where we thought we were hitting our limit.

Deluxe face painting- Animal Kingdom- Disney World, survive Disney with special needs9) Use meal/snack times as distractors

One of the most difficult and often stressful parts of traveling with a special needs child is eating out, with unfamiliar foods and lack of routine, so we opted out of the meal plan to avoid the food lines, choosing instead to rent a car and drive to a nearby Target for familiar and healthy lunch/snacking foods. The fridge in our room allowed for us to start every day with a quiet, calm breakfast and we used food in the park to keep the kids busy while waiting.

10) Noise cancelling headphones

A number of the rides at Disney can be loud and jarring, so we packed a pair of noise cancelling headphones in the event that things got too much. This gave our son a chance to deeply cushion the incredible sensory experiences going on around him.

survive Disney with special needs, Noise-Cancelling Headphones are the perfect solution for Autism at Disney
The headphones worked amazing at places like the Stunt Show at Disney Studios.

11) Have a flexible plan

Getting to the park early and choosing the most popular rides first was our strategy and we were able to enjoy them without ridiculous wait times. We tried to keep the rides balanced to reduce sensory overload, and if we did a closed, fast paced or loud ride, we would follow it with an open and slower ride that would be more relaxing and lower growing excitement levels. There will be moments you need to adapt. Just stay checked in with your kids and see what they can handle.

12) Breathe & Enjoy

The attendants and everyone we encountered at Disney were amazing, with customer experience obviously a priority.  This is supposed to be fun for the whole family. So do as best you can to plan ahead, let routine go, let it flow, enjoy the moments and you too can have a Magical Disney vacation.

survive Disney with special needs, Nothing is more special than meeting some of your favorite characters - Found Lightning McQueen at Disney Studios


read more
1 2 3 4 8
Page 2 of 8