QUESTION: Theme Park Ride Suggestions?

QUESTION:

I have a child with down syndrome who is going to Disneyland. His mom would like some suggestions for him to go on rides with loud music and vibrations. He avoids these activities during his treatment sessions. Can you offer any suggestions?

GWEN’S ANSWER:

I’m not sure there is going to much that will help if this issue is already being addressed in therapy, and he still avoids these types of activities. But in general it sounds like he is OVER-responsive to sound and vibration so he should have the opportunity to engage in red-arrow (calming) types of input before riding this type of ride. Here are some things that may be helpful while at Disneyland:

* Allow him to use an iPod to listen to calming or preferred music (or even white noise—an app for this called Sleep Machine provides an assortment of white noise) while in the Park.
* Pressure garments worn under his clothing or UnderArmour worn instead of other clothing may be helpful and should help him to tolerate the vibration and movement better.
* Deep pressure from the parent through his shoulders while standing in line.
* Oral input such as a lollipop or drinking water through a resistive valve (I love Camelbak water bottles for this purpose).
* A favorite fidget toy attached to a belt loop can provide a sense of security.

I hope that helps! Please let me know how it goes!

Best Wishes,
Gwen