Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Packing List

I'm obsessing about what I need to bring to Disney World. Oh, yes, I'm obsessing about which shorts and shirts and whatnot, but mostly I am obsessing about what I need to make sure that I don't melt down. I will be with my mom and my oldest sister (27). My mom would be upset my a melt down, and my sister just would not tolerate it. Her thought is that the crowds bother everyone, and that everyone else can deal with it, so I need to learn to deal too. ...More on that in another post. I have been to Disney before, in October for 3 days with Leigh (well, with the college marching band, but mostly just with Leigh), and I was texting her from the next seat by the end of the trip because I couldn't get words together. It was rough. Trying to avoid that this time.

Anyway, here is my list-in-progress for what I need to stay sane admist the chaos.

1. Smallish backpack to hold everything to stay with me all the time
2. Multiple water bottles to be filled with ice in the morning (I drink water like it's going out of style).
3. I usually have a squishy, spindly ball with me... but it's broken. As a replacement, I got a Tangle Jr. (http://www.seriouspuzzles.com/tty1800a.html). I'm going to connect it to the strap of my backpack so that it's always within reach.
4. Ipod and sunglasses. Obviously.
5. Earplugs.
6. Hat.
7. I bite my hands, knuckles mostly, a lot more when I'm more stressed out. I've tried chewing gum, but it doesn't work because gum isn't hard. I don't like ice. I finally broke down and got a chewy tube. It's just a red stick; it almost looks like candy. I don't intend to bring it anywhere with me or anything, but for chilling and watching tv or late at night... my knuckles might someday straighten out again. I feel pretty embarrassed, but other strategies just weren't working. Something acceptable to chew on would be such a relief.
8. Band aids in case I get a blister.
9. Back up site changes for my insulin pump, juice boxes and snacks in case my blood sugar is low, etc.
10. Maps of wherever we are and wherever we're going. I can't read maps, but I need to have them.

Any other suggestions?


  1. Wow - I don't know. I would take a book! I am not autistic but I do get fed up with crowds and carry abook with me to block them out - good in queues and places there is no escape from!

    I have to admit, Disney would be my idea of hell!! I think you are very brave to do something you want despite the obvious drawbacks!
    I hope you have a lovely time.

  2. Have you ever seen the chewy necklackes? You might try one of those. I think if I saw an adult chewing on a necklace, I would just view it as a "nervous habit" or something else. It really wouldn't stand out as strange to me and no reason for the chewer to be embarrassed by it.

    Disney World has a Disability Pass and autism is one of the disabilities that you can get the pass for. It allows you to avoid the long lines. I'm not sure what you'd need, as an adult, to get it, but maybe if you looked into it...

  3. I forgot to mention (duh!)... my doctor is sending a letter so that we can get the GAC card, a.k.a. the disability pass. It will let us wait in a different area that's not at noisy, although not necessarily shorter lines. That's a-okay with me! After having been there, I now know which rides have super flashy/noisy lines.