April 9, 2015

Kick-Image-BLivingston, New Jersey –  Kathy Kelly, creator and host of the Special Mouse travel podcast and mother of a 17-year-old with Autism is launching a Kickstarter campaign to publish Walt Disney World with Autism: A Special Needs Guide.  The Kickstarter project aims to make first-of-its-kind resource available by end of 2015.

Kelly is looking for help getting the word out about the Kickstarter campaign, which will run from April 9 through May 7, 2015.

Please go to http://kck.st/1c1SvD6 for more details about the book and instructions for social media sharing.

“I’ve seen how therapeutic visits to Walt Disney World have been for our son over the past 12 years,” says Kathy, who believes that the experience, while potentially over-stimulating, can be a positive and engaging one for children with autism, many of whom develop a particular fascination for Disney characters, songs and movies.

But for their parents, the prospect of a family theme park vacation can be nerve-wracking.

As they are well aware, children with autism are often hyper-focused on daily routines and rituals; becoming anxious and irritable when those routines are disturbed. For those with complex sensory issues, a theme park environment bombards them with sights, sounds, smells, and other sensations that can quickly overwhelm them, resulting in very loud — very public — behavior meltdowns.
Adding to parents’ stress is the sweeping change Disney made to its system of accommodation for theme park guests with cognitive and developmental disabilities. As of October, 2013, reduced wait time for rides is no longer provided. After hosting numerous discussions about access to theme park attractions on both the podcast and on social media, Kathy notes that 1-1/2 years later it continues to be a source of anxiety and frustration for many autism families.

“Nevertheless,” says Kathy, “I will give parents tools and information needed to make the experience more comfortable and enjoyable for children with special needs, their siblings, and even themselves.”

Please note, the author is not affiliated with, authorized or endorsed by, or in any way officially connected with, The Walt Disney Company or Disney Enterprises, Inc., or any of their affiliates.

About Special Mouse: Special Mouse is an unofficial Disney travel blog and podcast that discusses Disney Parks and Travel for guests with special needs, health challenges and disabilities. It has been nominated “Best Travel Podcast” in the People’s Choice Podcast Awards, 2014.

CONTACT: Kathy Kelly  E-mail specialmousepodcast@gmail.com    PHONE: 973-868-5572



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