View Full Version : guilty?
02-12-2008, 10:24 AM
this may sound stupid, but does anyone else ever feel guilty using the guest assistance? i have 3 children, 2 with high functioning autism. they appear completely normal and sometimes are just fine in line, but they have their moments when they are overstimulated and just can't handle waiting in the line. also, the tight spacing in line with people all around can bother them. sometimes, i feel guilty using the guest assit card, esp when you get "the look" from other people in line. does anyone else get these looks and how do you deal with it. usually i just ignore it, but it does get to me sometimes. thanks.
02-12-2008, 10:36 AM
Don't feel guilty. Those passes are there for a reason, so use it when you have to. I too have an autistic child, and while we haven't had to use the GA, I wouldn't hesitate if I had to. The way I feel about it is, some people are ignorant, and that's just the way it is. Enjoy your trip, and do whatever it takes to make your time a memorable one!
02-12-2008, 10:58 AM
I have never used the GA nor do I have a reason to need it (right now)...but I wanted to say do not feel guilty! This is your vacation and you have the right to enjoy it...just ignore the looks...
While I haven't the need for the GA I have been with those in wheelchairs...and they can walk small distances so we have gotten the looks...they are bothersome, but they are also usually from healthy individuals that do not understand the need for assistance.
Just have fun!!!
02-12-2008, 11:19 AM
It is very normal, in fact, healthy to feel guilty. It demonstrates that you have a true concern and care for others. HOWEVER, you have a very valid reason to use it and should. If your children have a melt down it will take hours from your vacation time and the pass is designed to help.
I do recommend that many children with impulsively or other traits from autism or other go in a few lines; but they just can't handle lines all day and as you mentioned tight spaces with long waits can be disastrous.
I've used guest assistance w/ my dad and I understand the guilt you feel but you are not taking advantage you are making your trip more delightful.
I think WDW provides an excellent ground to help children learn to wait but it's not that magical. There are times in life when they have to wait and practice is good but it's a gradual thing.
It sounds to me that you have a great feel for your kids needs and behaviors. Keep up the good work and on your next trip don't pack the guilt.:thumbsup:
02-12-2008, 11:24 AM
I do not have a child with special needs, but I have observed many families using GA. In some cases it is very clear why the assistance is necessary, and in others it is not so clear. However, I would never assume that someone is taking advantage of the help. I am filled with admiration for parents who try to give their children great experiences, even if their special needs make that extremely challenging and far from a "relaxing" vacation. I also appreciate the fact that Disney makes accomodations for guests with special needs, and trust that they are able to determine who legitimately needs them.
So please, do not feel guilty, or allow a few ignorant folks to ruin your enjoyment. Most of us are just happy to be there, and glad to see that families like yours can also enjoy themselves.:mickey:
02-12-2008, 12:00 PM
Yup :) Actually we only used one on our Make a Wish trip and I feel so guilty that I have never used one since although it certainly might have helped us on our first post tranplant trip! It's almost like I think our issues are not so bad (well, they aren't) so I don't want to invite bad karma by using it when we can really get by just doing shorter days in the parks!
Anyway, now that we are over a year post transplant my son is doing really well and I don't think stamina issues will affect us anymore :thumbsup:
I think if you the pass will help you and your child, use it! You deserve a wonderful vacation especially when the things you deal with on a daily basis are things other people can't even imagine.
02-12-2008, 12:57 PM
No, no guilt. Our son is also high-functioning autistic. We don't use the GAC on all rides, primarily just the Fast Pass attractions. I think occasionally it is good for my son to wait in a line and build up his stamina and coping skills, but it does take it's toll on him. Also in using the FP line I don't feel like we are breaking or cutting because FP is available to everyone, just not as often. My wife says that the rest of his life is so much harder than the average person, that he deserves it being a little bit easier on vacation.
As long as the pass is needed their is no reason at all to feel guilty. I know I would not feel guilty using one if needed by someone in my party. As for the people giving you looks ignore them they are uninformed and often jealous that you don't have to wait in line. I know it sounds funny that people are jealous of people needing the passes but I have heard people on line mention things like "wish we had someone disabled to get us to the front of the line". :shake: I t makes you wonder if people even think before speaking or acting any more.
02-12-2008, 02:25 PM
Please don't feel guilty at using the GA card. I'd much rather give up a minute or two of my time while you and your family board ahead of me than watch you have to deal with your kids who were over-stressed and had a meltdown (that isn't a slam on anyone's kids by the way). The GA cards are issued for a reason and the rest of us shouldn't question that need or make you feel guilty for using it. If your kids can wait in the regular lines, great - it's probably good for them to try sometimes, but if they can't, why should you make yourself and them miserable?
02-12-2008, 02:49 PM
I have absolutely no guilt. I thought I would at first, and was totally prepared for "the look" from people who just would not visibly see his high functioning autism. But the point of the pass is so that he would not have his moments of stemming. I agree with the above comments, though the struggle my son faces daily is not always visible, especially to those who have no idea what it is he deserves it easier on vacation like everyone else expects on theirs. I can handle the added stress from "the look". There is no need for my son to endure more of a challenge with the social stigma associated with special needs.
02-12-2008, 03:15 PM
We use the GAC when a line or circumstance demands it and I have ZERO guilt. Not that I don't care for others, certainly, but heck -- if autism suddenly disappeared from my kiddo's life, I would stand in a 2 hour line for pooh, and smile while doing it.
My son's life is flooded with challenges, demands and frustrations. So much more than any 9 year old boy deserves to have dealt with. I have no problem with giving him a way to enjoy some vacation time and letting him be able to feel the magic as well.
And ya know, I don't think it is entirely a selfish perspective. Woe to the person stuck in a queue line next to my boy if he has a meltdown!!!!! Believe me, it benefits all around us if we prevent a fit.
My suggestion would be to focus on the joy of your kiddos and not on the few people who may be giving you "the look". Ultimately, how much time did you cost them anyway?? 20 or 30 seconds on a continuously loading ride?
02-12-2008, 04:10 PM
We use the GA when we need to, such as lines for rides etc. Where I feel guilty is using it for Charcters unless there is a separate handicapped entrace to see the characters ie the Judge's Tent other wise we very rarely do and on occasion a CM will see it on Hayden's stroller and sweep us up and out of line so we don't have to wait usually lightly chastising us for not letting her know ahead of time.
We shouldn't feel guilty, but at the same time our children, parents or whoever needs that Assistance would usually gladly wait if the card wasn't needed I know we would wait hours if the tables changed and it wasn't necessary for Hayden to need it.
Don't worry about the stares, I have never seen any myself, nor heard anything from people waiting behind us and I don't know if I would care if I did.
Try not to worry and have the best time that you can.:mickey:
02-12-2008, 04:18 PM
hey thanks for all of the positive replys. i guess i just need to let go and forget what other people think. i agree with you , i would wait hours if it meant my kids didn't have autism anymore. i guess i just needed some positive encouragement to reinforce that i was in fact doing the right thing by using it. i wish i didn't need it at all, but it could be so much worse. i think that's why i feel guilty sometimes using it, because there are numerous others that have a greater struggle than our family does. thanks everyone, i feel much better:mickey:
02-12-2008, 05:16 PM
Use it guilt free when you need to-only you know your child and your family's needs. If some ignorant fool chooses to flash "the look" just let it pass and think how lucky you are to not have to live your life angry like that ignorant person does. Enjoy every moment and thank God for everyday!
02-12-2008, 06:57 PM
I think the guilt, at least for me, stems from not wanting to ask for help or special consideration. We can get by doing short days at the parks. Would I love to be able to stay for 8, 10, 12 hours after I paid to get in? Yes, but I still don't ask for it :blush: I don't feel guilty because I'm worried that people think we don't deserve it; I don't think anyone should be worried about what others are thinking. Really, they have no idea why you are using a fastpass line. How do they know you're not using a fastpass? I guess I'm just one of those people who feels guilty about everything and would rather not ask for help. I don't think others should be the same way! It's been interesting reading this thread and figuring out why we never used one again!
02-13-2008, 03:35 PM
if autism suddenly disappeared from my kiddo's life, I would stand in a 2 hour line for pooh, and smile while doing it
Exactly how I feel. For the person who says "Gee, I wish I had a disabled kid ..." I think, "I wish you did, too ... if only for long enough to understand."
I do understand the guilt, which is why we use our pass only when the lines are longer than my guys can stand. If you're worried about the looks, just remember what kind of looks our kids can generate when they're having a meltdown in the middle of a crowded, slow-moving line.:( This happened to us just once on our last visit, and was enough to cure my feeling guilty about using GA passes.
My take is this - my little guys have a hard time so much of their life just doing ordinary things. If they catch a break on vacation, then Karma is just catching up with them. ;)
02-13-2008, 04:29 PM
My take is this - my little guys have a hard time so much of their life just doing ordinary things. If they catch a break on vacation, then Karma is just catching up with them.
AMEN, I couldn't agree more. :thumbsup:
02-23-2008, 09:44 PM
I've been reading with interest, as I have been to WDW many times and have not ever requested a card for my son. On the other hand, I never hesitate to use the assistance card / wheelchair access for my mother. It is odd when I think about it.
My son is high functioning, but surely has his moments. A few times I have considered it -- especially for help in crowded / corral ride line areas, but I haven't. I just have Fastpassed or avoided those rides. It isn't because of the other people / their looks, though.
I guess, I don't like admitting his needs are special. And, while they are -- in ways, they aren't. Working with other children much more disabled - I do compare. I am very lucky to have a child that can handle many things. So, while others may not, I do feel guilty. . . and - in a weird way - glad that I feel guilty.
I never resent other using the assistance, I just personally don't feel comfortable. I guess it really comes down to focusing on your child's needs -- you know your child, others do not. If assistance is needed -- use it.
02-23-2008, 11:37 PM
I use an ECV, and know what you're talking about. The reason we "feel" ""the look"" is because the GAC has been so abused over the years. Long before I couldn't walk well, I would see teens with a WC actually taking turns, and laughing about their cool $7.00 investment. The CM's were aware of what they were doing, and everyone in line was too. It's annoying to anyone when a seemingly healthy person goes to the head of the line in a WC, and I'm really happy that it's not that easy anymore. I mostly am blended into the wait line by a back entrance or wait with everyone else. That's the way it should be, but there are still folks with special needs children, or the elderly that still can't stand in a line, and the GAC is a blessing that they shouldn't have to explain to anyone.
Don't feel guilty. Go and have a wonderful trip.:)
03-08-2008, 10:24 AM
I say forget the guilt, I know easier said than done. We go to a camp in the summer it doesn't cost us any money to go, but unfortunately that's because my son qualifies. It is a camp for children with life threatening illnesses and their families. While visiting a camp ground next to it (there was a mini carnival to help raise money for our camp) a child asked the father about how much it cost to go to our camp. He said oh they don't have to pay anything to go there sounding like he was mad that he had to pay to go to camp and we got to go for free. I got mad and said actually the price we have to pay is alot higher than what you have to pay. I think sometimes people don't understand that you would rather stand in line than qualify to be able to jump the line. So just hold your head up high and know you are doing what you can to make things easier for your child.
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