A Message to the Manhattan Moms Who See My Special Needs Child as a Disney Fast Pass

(If you are new to our journey, click here to read my Lila’s birth story and be sure to check in on the beautiful and amazing life that has followed so far. Regardless of the sarcastic rant that follows, we are truly blessed!)

Dear poor, sad Manhattan mother who couldn’t bring herself to wait in line with the masses,

Navigating the exclusive and over-the-top world of New York City preschools and play dates must be too much to handle. Managing your household of nannies and maids and dog walkers along with your social calendar probably really gets you down by the end of the day. So why wouldn’t you want to hire a disabled tour guide to help you zip past the long lines at the happiest place on Earth?

Click here to read the New York Post’s Report on the Rich Manhattan moms who hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World.

The truth is, why should you wait? Why should families like ours be afforded any perks at an amusement park that draws thousands of people a day?


(Disney gives these passes to families who include someone with special needs whether they are in a wheelchair or not. This way, you don’t have to tackle a 2-hour wait and multiple turn styles with a wheelchair or a child that has to work a little harder to wait without having a meltdown. Apparently these moms went through an underground service to “rent” the company of a special needs guide, so they could sashay to the special entrance too. Now let’s hope Disney doesn’t make it more difficult for those who really need it to get this accommodation because of the deplorable actions of those who want to abuse the system.)

To those entitled mothers, if you’d really like to enjoy the benefits that Disney affords special needs families, you should be sure to get the whole experience. Why not truly walk in our shoes for a couple of hours or even a day? While you are getting your nails done, we’ve had two therapy appointments and tried to squeeze in any semblance of a nap on the ride from one place to another so the second appointment isn’t a total waste. While you’re eating lunch at 5-star restaurants that take reservations, we are using 5 different therapeutic spoons to try and get our children to eat at least a few bites of age-appropriate, healthy food. Then we get to clean up the evidence of the first four failed attempts. During your afternoon Pilates class, we’ve waited in the doctor’s waiting room for an hour, gone over our insurance information twice while signing a new HIPAA form, waited again in the specialist’s office and listened to our children wail while they have blood drawn for the third time that month. While you are chatting with your girlfriends on the phone, we make three phone calls to three different therapists and case workers who help hold the key to walking sooner, speaking more clearly or filling out the latest round of state paperwork. During your long, relaxing bubble bath, we fall into bed exhausted and worried about what struggle we’ll encounter tomorrow.

So really, any small benefit that might make a vacation a little easier on us, should be afforded to you too, right? Our lives are pretty similar when you break it down. But I do have to say that I would like to thank you. You remind me that I’d rather work hard for a child seen as special, than live a life that is anything but. I’d rather fight for her than walk down Easy Street with you.

I hope you enjoy “It’s a Small World.”


A Mother to the most deserving little girl on Earth


(In the real world I know everyone has their own struggles, but this just burned my buttons!)


157 thoughts on “A Message to the Manhattan Moms Who See My Special Needs Child as a Disney Fast Pass

  1. Joyce Powell says:

    Way to go Latricia. And you do this all the while working a job that forces you to smile when, I’m certain, there are times you don’t feel like smiling. I sure hope the “poor little rich Mommies” are able to see this and re-think what they’ve done. God bless you and that sweet baby girl.

  2. Reba says:

    Words fail me but not you. I know that the world is full of selfish individuals, but these heartless people need to be shamed. Keep up your good work. Lila is one blessed child:)

  3. Pernille says:

    Great Post, I suffer from muscular dystrophy and posted a similar one on my blog at keepinghopejourney.blogspot.com Yesterday…. You seem like an amazing woman!

  4. reinventedmommy says:

    My son was diagnosed with autism at 28 months. The night of the diagnosis, my husband and I had the worst argument of our marriage. We secretly blamed each other for early birth, vaccines, family history, etc. I awoke the next day and ran until my legs were shaking violently.

    Fast forward 4.5 years and he no longer carries the autism label. He has sensory processing issues and cognitive delays that make learning so hard but he pushes himself. We still have therapy though we pay out of pocket, we still suffer meltdowns and struggle with hair brushing and cuts and other things that “hurt” him physically. He can not always hold himself still…..

    I explain all of this because I would not apply for special services at Disney. I do not even feel right signing him up for events like surfer’s healing because he lacks the social issues of other kids on the spectrum. This year someone finally talked me into it because he does qualify!

    How these moms live with themselves is just beyond me. Pathetic and sad that anyone would take advantage of the few services we can enjoy free of charge – that give us the chance to smile.

  5. Christina Gleason @ WELL, in THIS House says:

    I hope that Disney doesn’t make it harder for deserving families to get the assistance they need, but perhaps makes a new rule requiring any outside “tour guide” to present identification at guest services, making them ineligible for special accommodations. Tour guides don’t need to actually go on the rides with a family anyways.

    • Former Florida Resident with aching legs says:

      I don’t think the “Tour Guide” is presented as such when they enter the parks. I think they just go in with the family as a part of their party which enables them to get the privileges that Disney allow those with special needs. How are Disney supposed to know which parties are genuine & which are scammers? The “Tour Guides” are not connected to Disney in any way just mean people exploiting a loophole to the immensely wealthy & entitled who, very sadly, probably sleep very well at night with no trace of guilt.

  6. Anna Theurer says:

    Exactly! Well said. “Now let’s hope Disney doesn’t make it more difficult for those who really need it to get this accommodation because of the deplorable actions of those who want to abuse the system.”–my worry as well.

    • 113yearslater says:

      Yeah, but that means they butt in line without the added frisson of crapping on people, treating a couple untermenschen like garbage, and feeling like they are doing something sneaky and underhanded that’s only available to the Better Sort. Doing it above board? Where’s the fun in that? >-P

      This whole thing is really disgusting. You see stuff like this and you start to understand why the French went through a phase of putting all their super-rich under a guillotine a couple hundred years ago.

  7. Greg Thompson says:

    Spot on! What an awesome take and great perspective. It never ceases to amaze me on the lengths people will go to in attempts to “game the system.” Obviously, they cannot see beyond themselves and they don’t recognize how their “wants” can impact the needs of others who struggle every day.

  8. krista says:

    Unfortunately the mothers will read this with rolling eyes. These type of people lack perspective and never have an ah-ha moment until they are personally affected.

  9. Leticia Velasquez says:

    Its so sad, but I can’t help but think these moms with the perfect life would be the very first to abort a child like my Christina as they do not fit into the yuppie mold. Yet they are not ashamed of using them for convenience. Disgraceful.

  10. Aimee Allen-Kirk says:

    Here’s an idea, put some of that cash to good use….HOW ABOUT ADOPTING a special needs child? It’s a WIN/WIN…you’ve changed a life, done a great thing AND no more waiting in long lines at Disney. *eyeroll*

  11. rhoda says:

    Just started to follow your families path that we have been on for 29 years now .With all lifes lessons how can one understands anothers journey when they have not walked it .Many parents take for granted the milestones their children meet,where as parents of special children have a resounding joy in their achievments.Hope you enjoy all the happiness your beautiful baby girl will bring into your life .

  12. Vicky H. says:

    I totally agree with everything you said. Your little girl is adorable and I am sure brings you lots of blessings.

  13. Lynn says:

    As a mother who chose to adopt 2 special needs children, the only thing I see wrong with your article is you only blame the mother, as most commentaries do. What about the fathers? I assume they are in on the decision.

    • 113yearslater says:

      The fathers are probably at the office (banging the secretary or some whore on a business trip) and have no idea what’s going on. Such is the life of the idle rich. People like that were made for guillotines. 😦

  14. Nikki Polidori says:

    That was well said. What is wrong with our society that we use the difficulties of others for our personal gain? I know you are an amazing mom and be glad your daughter has you as her parent!

  15. Diane Kodelja says:

    Thanks for speaking so eloquently on our (parents of special needs children) behalf to that Manhattan parent…I SO wish we could form a line…a picket line of some sort…in front of everywhere she went. If these people aren’t ashamed or embarrassed by their actions, I’d like to ‘use’ my non-verbal, globally delayed wheelchair kiddo to help them get that way.

  16. Lila says:

    Hi! I saw your post from a friend fb page and could not skip it, as a Lila (even if is just a nickname from childhood) and as an aunt of a special need child. Big hugs to your lovely Lila that made you the great mum you are!

  17. Cress says:

    I agree 100% with you. My Uncle Matt got very ill when he was only a few months old and his brain never developed. He passed away last March at 54, when they said he wouldn’t make it a week. It’s not an easy road to keeping people you love dearly healthy. My grandmother (his mother) was always struggling and the comments people made- that was never easy either… These people are simply pathetic. I can’t even find words to describe my disgust with this ‘mother’. I live with my grandmother now, I have for years, and we struggle every day. I wouldn’t have it any other way- because I know I appreciate everything I have at the end of the day, no matter the size. I also know my children (when I have them) will grow up and appreciate everything they have, as they all should. It’s rather apparent this mother was not taught to appreciate what she has but only wanted to appreciate what she could have next week. I only hope the kids find some amazing friends in school and they can learn to love and appreciate and cherish the gift of everyday.

    Thank you for this post. I hope it opened up some eyes and maybe even hearts…

  18. Billie says:

    First and foremost your daughter is absolutely gorgeous and I applaud you! My son is a special needs child and I would never ever consider doing this for anyone for no amount of money. You cannot put a price on their experience. My son cannot wait in lines due to severe seizure activity, heck most of the rides that someone else would want to go on he is forbid from. Keep your stand and know that there are many more standing with you than against you…..

  19. Sherri says:

    Personally, I think that ANYONE (special needs or not) forking over the outrageous prices charged by these places should not have to wait in line for more than 10 or 15 minutes. I would never do so which is why I never go to these places.

  20. Andrea Van Ye says:

    dear friend:
    thank you for your post. a friend of mine noted it on Facebook … it stirred me to write a P.S. to your letter to the moms. i have a 19 year old son with special needs … reading the original article made me mad and sad, and yet i felt sorry for those moms … and for the children of those moms … so i wrote a P.S. to your post. i also linked to your post in my blog … hope it is an encouragement to you! thank you for your words … from one mother of a child with special needs to another, persevere and find joy! (my post can be found at:http://unfailinglyloved.blogspot.com/2013/05/my-ps-to-another-mothers-post-she-wrote.html )

  21. Dan Phillips says:

    This is so sad. I have a special needs daughter and have been to Disney twice with her. It literally would have been impossible to do without this pass. Disney is incredible for providing this pass and all the efforts it makes on behalf of disabled people. It allows those with the greatest disadvantages in life to be able to have the same experience as everyone else who goes to Disney. These people should be banned from Disney for life for doing this.

  22. Mary @Capturing Magical Memories says:

    First of all, your daughter is precious. That smile made my day and I had to go back though your posts to see more of her. I can tell she is the joy of your life and anyone that gets to know her will be blessed. How can you not be with that face! Now we may have to talk about the shampoo hairdo mom gave her… but that is for another post. πŸ™‚

    And your post is right on. Their selfishness will come back to haunt them at some time in their lives so live your life to the fullest and let your happiness teach them!

  23. scribblechic says:

    I often marvel at the insensitivity and ignorance that informs such behavior. I echo your sentiment, “I’ld rather work hard for a child seen as special, than live a life that is anything but. I’d rather fight for her than walk down Easy Street with you.” Beautifully said.

  24. Martin Hooijmans says:

    I can understand how that gets your blood boiling. Good you got it off your chest! Reading all you do for your little girl, you seem like an amazing mother. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  25. rami ungar the writer says:

    As someone with a developmental disorder, I find it deplorable that some woman would go to such lengths just so they can get on rides a bit quicker. I never used the quick-pass option, my parents never did, and that was because we thought it wasn’t necessary. Clearly these women have very different values than what is normally acceptable by society.

  26. thirdlifeby18 says:

    My younger brother is autistic and he is absolutely in love with everything Disney. Ask him anything about any movie, park attraction, or even the executives of the company and he can tell you all about them. When we visit Disney we use the Fast Pass option, but only when necessary. My mom taught us that it was only okay to use it if we would not be able to enjoy the attraction otherwise. It is incredibly difficult for him to be in a loud, crowded area for an extended period of time, particularly when the people are practically on top of him. It is just too much sensory input for him to handle, and unfortunately he has experienced several meltdowns in similar situations. In the interest of not short-changing him of the opportunity to enjoy his Disney experience as fully as possible we do sometimes use the Fast Pass.

    Disney is an absolutely wonderful company and takes such good care of all of its guests – disabled and regularly abled alike. When my brother returned from our last trip he sent an email to the company thanking everyone for how accommodating and understanding they were and expressing how much he enjoyed the trip and loves Disney. Not only did he get a personalized email in response but he received a call from a man at Disney who thanked him for his visit and proceeded to talk to him for over twenty minutes about everything Disney. That man made my brother the happiest boy in the world that day.

    Disney certainly doesn’t have to do any of these things do be successful, but their attention and care for every single one of their guests is what makes this company truly special.

    Thank you for writing this wonderful article!

  27. cozyblanketsnowflakerepetitioncompulsion says:

    It might not be the most politically correct thing to do — but how isn’t this a victimless crime? I am sure the differently abled individuals accepted their compensation — and hey maybe the extra cash made their trip that much better.

    Your rant, while I sympathize, as I am a person with disabilties, seems more about the gap between healthy and wealthy people (and hey I’m no fan of capitalism either) and the struggles of being a parent of a child who is differently-abled.

    But I still think it’s a victimless crime.

    • May says:

      Not if Disney decides to pull the scheme as a result of it being abused, meaning that hundreds, probably thousands of children with genuine medical reasons that make it hard to impossible for them to deal with queues can no longer enjoy Disneyland. Disney give out those passes in recognition of special circumstances – if people who don’t have those special circumstances start using them, then it undercuts the paid-for fast pass service, and for any for-profit company the bottom line is the profit line. I think it’s awful to take advantage of a service intended for people with disabilities or illnesses simply out of a lack of patience and a sense of entitlement.

      • cozyblanketsnowflakerepetitioncompulsion says:

        Well, I agree. But I would point out that differently-abled people weren’t forced to help the Yuppies out — they took whatever compensation was offered, and so did damage to their own cause. I know some disabilities can include a cognitive deficit, but then again, those people would have a caretaker with them. Let’s see both sides of the coin. And Disney is no saint…. no saint at all… If Disney just discontinues these passes well shame on them, it doesn’t really hurt them to keep giving them out. But Disney is an evil corporation that will exploit people into paying $50 for a DVD of Cinderella and will continuing making their own choices based on what will drive up their profits.

    • 113yearslater says:

      Can you imagine the way those women’s kids will grow up viewing other human beings, especially ones that are a little different? Okay, so it’s not worthy of jail time. There are many ways of being a raging *sshole that won’t land one in jail.

      • cozyblanketsnowflakerepetitioncompulsion says:

        Well chances are those kids are off to a bad start anyways… having nannies and private priviledge schools… The way it effects kids is a different story… it calls into question ethical parenting and setting an example… and I’m sad to say that most adults either realize the prejudice of their parents and rise above, or they become assholes who’ll do the same.

  28. segmation says:

    It is nice to see you blog on this subject. Not only does this upset me but it also upsets me when people park in handicap parking that are not handicaped! Such a sad place we have become, right?

    • cliff445 says:

      Me Too! I was at Walmart the other day, when a poor disabled woman was forced to park near where we were, and hobble her way slowly across from the far side of a very big parking lot, because a bunch of able-bodied, jerks were in the Handicapped stalls. She was barely able to stand upright with a zimmer frame, poor thing! I took down plate numbers and gave them to a greeter, but I noticed a great many of those same vehicles were still there when we left.

  29. kellyscott57 says:

    I’m going to add More humor to this and I agree people who moan over stuff??? don’t get my sympathy especially in your case! heres my point? my father has a guest pass and he gave it to me since he never uses it, he is a university Of Oregon donor has givin money for years, the guest pass is free admission pass to the non revenue sports as in softball, soccer, gymnastics, lacrosse and so when I show? the pass while the other folks are waiting??? to buy a ticket??? not every time???? but some times they look??as if to say?? how did he get in so fast????

  30. kellyscott57 says:

    I will also ad this??? how about the handicapped parking so often used by the folks so much in a hurry? who aren’t handicapped???

  31. kellyscott57 says:

    I ride our mass transit bus system here in Eugene, Oregon and I see all to often when a wheel chair needs to ride?? how often I see the looks of pain???as if to say why???? again???
    I’m not handicapped but Id like tell these tough ….go sit and shut up…..

  32. kellyscott57 says:

    i’m also sorry to say this but I will anyway , I wish sometimes these ?? might think? about If it Were they?? but do they???? NO.

  33. kellyscott57 says:

    I think some who BEE and moan>>???? maybe if they were handicapped I don’t think they would even try to get out….they might sit and try to blame someone….

  34. rainydaisylady says:

    That is truly disgusting behavior. It makes it hard to have faith in humanity sometimes….except for all the people who are equally appalled at this.

    Your daughter is beautiful!

  35. Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher says:

    The entire Disney experience is enough to make me want to scream – and now we’ve added this kind of embarrassment – I read that story yesterday and was totally appalled (but not surprised) by the scam. The problem, besides using money to ‘entitle’ you to not having to wait with the rest of us, is that ANYONE should have to wait 2.5 hours for a 20 second ride….EVER. And if I had to get a reservation FOR A RIDE – I’d just be anxious about missing my ‘ride time’ – I think at this juncture, Disney needs to rethink how their park works –

    And I totally hear you about having days filled with therapists, appointments and frustration. Thank you for standing up and writing about appalling behavior from people that want to buy everything in life – I don’t mind that people have money and are monetarily successful, what I mind is using that money to take advantage of others and to keep yourself from having to participate in society in a similar manner than the rest of us that are doing the best we can with what we have.

  36. not-me says:

    I had enjoyed working with special needs kids for many years, can’t say the same of my brief experiences working with priveledged (but not wealthy) … ah ‘gentlemen’. On the other hand the one really wealthy man I had worked for was truly a delight and a pleasure. It really does depend on the individual.

  37. cdnlipz says:

    I have worked with children with Autism for many years. Many of my families go to Disneyland because of the special assistance that is offered. I praise these parents because over time they have developed a thick skin due to other people’s ignorant comments and glares. Although their children’s disability enables to look like a ‘typical peer’ (whatever that means), the nature of their disability makes it difficult for them to function in an over stimulated environment such as Disneyland. A child is a child and they deserve to take in such a wonderful playful place. A well written post. Bravo to you!

  38. jas2jar says:

    I am horrified by the fact anyone could use a special child for such triviality. What vile human beings with such sad lives that they can’t see what they are doing is wrong.
    You daughter is beautiful by the way!

  39. cliff445 says:

    That’s a real eye opener! I can’t believe people can stoop that low! I’ve stood in line with my niece and nephew many times. The lines can be very long sometimes, but you know what? We survived it. It teaches a good lesson in patience and perseverance.. Great post BTW. and your Daughter is so beautiful!

  40. A.J. Goode says:

    I had no idea that this kind of thing goes on. I’m horrified that anyone could do anything so despicable. Thanks for making us aware of it.

    Your little girl is utterly adorable! Such a sweet smile!

  41. fingerprintwriting says:

    I hope that these pampered families read your post and cringe at their utter disregard for humanity. I hope they make some changes too. Great post. Your daughter is precious and beautiful:-)

  42. jadereyner says:

    Hi! Picked up your blog on Freshly Pressed and congratulations and WELL SAID! I am in the UK and have not been to Disneyland but would love to go one day, however we have theme parks in the UK which offer similar systems providing that you can give proof of disability. We have a severely disabled child who has severe autism and learning disabilities amongst other issues and has no speech and little comprehension. We cannot wait in queues because he has absolutely no concept of them whatsoever and the fact that we can use these ‘queue jump’ passes, makes a day which would otherwise be an absolute nightmare, bearable. I love the fact that you have related our lives to the lives of those with children who do not have issues, and I have frequently found myself feeling exactly the same. Yes, we get some financial ‘benefits’ and we get the ‘luxury’ of queue jump passes but our compensation for that is the endless round of appointments, procedures, medical equipment, medication and sleepless nights. Our son is 8 years old, he is not going to improve in the near future and as I have an elder child who is 10, I have now been changing nappies for 10 years with no end in sight. He is the size of an 8 year old so is immensely difficult to manage and needs watching and supervision 24/7. Since his birth we have known very little peace and so I would say to anyone reading this who doesn’t have ‘special needs’ children – next time you pass judgement on the noise and the lack of control that you perceive us to have, stop and think. Whilst we love and adore our children with all our hearts and feel our lives are truly blessed with them in it, you have no clue what our reality is on a daily basis and we would readily swap our ‘queue jumping’ passes for your ‘normality’ in a heartbeat. Thank you for posting this, it has touched a nerve with me as it did with you. I may post similar in the future and will link to you if I do. I will follow your journey from now on and wish you all the best in your ongoing adventures with your beautiful daughter.

  43. woodenhair says:

    I just finished the hours of reading your posts about Lila. she is a beautiful little girl and i know she couldnt ask for a better parent. know that you’re family has more joy than most of the families out there. we may be strangers and probably live millions of miles away but trust me when i say i am with you in every step of the way!

  44. Amy says:

    Beautifully written. My son is 6 years old and was born with Down syndrome and I can certainly empathize with all of the therapy appointments, medical appointments, and specialty appointments. We are planning our first trip to Disneyworld in October. He struggles with a lot of stimuli and all the stimuli that occurs while waiting in line. We were told by another friend whose daughter has Down syndrome and struggles with the same issues about getting the special accomodation pass. When I read the article about what has recently occurred, it almost made it sound like even people with special needs should not receive any accomodations, making me feel somewhat uncertain about applying for one when we go on our trip. Our little man is amazing and we wouldn’t change a thing about him. Thank you for putting into words what I have struggled to share.

  45. Liz says:

    Great write up. Until people walk a mile in our shoes they can’t truly understand the complexities of our daily routines and the struggles and extra effort we put in just to make it though some days. We are mother warriors and will continue to fight… Screw those Manhattanite manipulators!!!!

  46. annesquared says:

    Thank you for writing this. I can’t imagine Disney changing its policy because of one “outed” fraud. I am sure they will figure something out.

    Our children our a gift πŸ™‚ and all challenges are not visible. We are their advocates. πŸ™‚

  47. Julyla says:

    very well said! My daughter just recently started eating by mouth and was able to be off oxygen during the day. I never thought of it as a burden having to carry around all of her extra stuff until I didn’t have to do it anymore. which makes me even more appreciative of the parents/caregivers who still have to do this daily. It’s not an easy task raising a child with special needs but it’s not one I would trade for anything either πŸ™‚

  48. oldetooles says:

    They live their lives in a sense of entitlement; would you expect they vacation in a different manner? I bet they would daily pass those same people they would use as a fast pass without thinking or feeling anything but disgust toward them.

  49. watchjilljuggle says:

    Bravo! As the SIL of a special needs individual and honorary auntie to a 7 yo, special needs child I’m truly disgusted that anyone has actually done this BUT the fact that there is a business designed around it! Parking in a handicap is one thing – taking advantage of individuals for personal gain or just cause you’re a plain ol’ spoiled excuse for a parent is leagues beyond.

  50. sagedoyle says:

    Well said, I felt the same way when I read that story. Privileged is one thing, but thinking you’re worth more than everyone else, is another thing altogether.

  51. derb523622013 says:

    Your daughter is precious, and these self-entitled people should be ashamed of themselves. I have a 22-year-old daughter with special needs and I know the joys, triumphs, sadness and gratefulness you will go through as your daughter grows. Namaste. ❀

  52. 4myskin says:

    Wonderful post! Shame on them, I guess I shouldn’t be surprised there’s people out there who think that’s perfectly fine to do. And by the way, you have the CUTEST girl ever! That is an adorable picture!

  53. megasupernova says:

    I agree with you, there’s use and ABuse. The people who struggle awfully and NEED a special system have it get all messed up by freeloaders who are “too important”.

    Another incident I’ve seen this happen is at peanut-free tables at schools. Not only do they allow kids to sit there without having food allergies or have a food-allergic friend give them permission, but they sometimes even have peanut butter in their lunches, the specific reason why that table is in existence! All of that just so they can sit at a “less crowded” table.

    Then, of course, there’s welfare. I won’t say much about this for fear of starting a fight, but it’s a truly great system for people in need that is abused by people who don’t need it in the first place.

    It truly is an aggravating world we live in, but we can handle it. Well done for speaking out!! πŸ˜‰

  54. What Did'ya Ware says:

    In this world there is good and bad. The good have to co-exist with bad. It helps you realize that you are doing the right thing. Everyone has the ability to know what’s right and wrong. Some just chose to ignore it. You look at the bad things and say”oh ok I did that right because that looks so wrong”. I am thankful for the lesson I learn from experiencing the bad. It helps me learn forgiveness. Which is necessary to live a long happy life.

  55. LillianC says:

    Way to go! Well said! My 17 year old has cerebral palsy and seizure disorder. My 14 year old is autistic. You’re absolutely right. If the Rich Mommies want the perks of our lives, it’s only fair for them to taste the anxiety, the stress, the heartbreak, and the frustration. It might do their pampered, entitled offspring some good to see how the Special Needs Kids live their lives.

  56. Riddle Me This says:

    Couldn’t help but become emotional while reading this. That’s one lucky little girl. I’ve never done such a thing, nor would I think to…..but just as a Mom this truly humbled me in so many ways. Thank you.

  57. Sue says:

    EXCELLENT and well written message sent to the “ladies” that took advantage at Disney World. My grand-daughter has autism…I sincerely doubt that she could stand in line for much longer than a few minutes and the whole concept would likely to sent her into a meltdown. Her brother and sisters would not like it either, much like the NYC kids, but they’d cope with it just fine! I hear some pretty sick and sad stories all to often on the internet, especially things done to special needs children….someone taking advantage so they don’t have to wait just literally chaps my rear end. BTW, your little girl is so cute!!! Thanks for your letter!!

  58. abbbz says:

    Wow. So well said! I applaud you for your amazing efforts and the wonderful way you expressed yourself. I am saddened (but not at all surprised) by the fact that these snotty, overindulged women did this. I hope this does not make it harder for you to get the tiny benefit you get at Disney. Your daughter is soooooo beautiful! God Bless and Keep up the good work. I look forward to reading more of your blog!

  59. dphilipjones says:

    This has annoyed me for some time now! People see parents as people who take advantage of their special needs children, when the reality is, like you mentioned, that it really is necessary as queues and long waits can be so stressful for the children. Well said!

  60. jacquelinediane says:

    Bravo for your bold words! I’ve worked with families of special needs children for several years now and these children have become part of my own family. The struggles that they encounter on a daily basis are unimaginable to most of the population. Your daughter is absolutely adorable, those cheeks are positively kissable (I’m sure you take advantage of that frequently!)

  61. coffeegrounded says:

    Go shout it from the mountaintop s … I could not believe what I was hearing the day that news report hit the airwaves. My niece is a special needs child. I am forever amazed at the journey her family travels on a daily basis. There is a special place in Heaven for all of you, parent(s) and child. Bless you and thanks for carving out the time to share your journey.

  62. iamtheinvisiblehand says:

    first off, your daughter is too cute for words!

    You’re absolutely right about everything you said in this blog and I couldn’t agree with you more.

    I too read the article and was just appalled by the lengths people will go to in order to avoid anything that puts them on the same level as the rest of us – that being standing in line, in this case.

    I mean, exactly what are these people teaching their children? And why hasn’t Disney said or done anything about it?

    In my case, even though my mother isn’t exactly handicapped, she’s a terminal cancer patient and on the ocassional mandatory outings (to medical appointments) in which she must be moved around in a wheelchair, I’ve been shocked to see how people with no disabilities whatsoever park in the areas reserved for those who really need them. I’ve compalined about it but the people in charge seem to think there’s nothing they can do about it, or maybe they’re too lazy to make the rules count for everyone.

    The saddest part is that I’m not entirely surprised that this sort of thing is happening. This is the kind of society we’ve become. Sigh.

  63. sarafripp says:

    Well said. I have some amazing friends and family that often remind me of how amazing and difficult a job it is to care for a child with special needs… just a few ignorant people out there really know how to kick you when your already down.

  64. mmiller says:

    First of all, your daughter is absolutely beautiful!

    And thank you so much for sharing your post – very well written! I completely agree with you – I saw the news and was beside myself.

  65. Balance the Circle says:

    I cannot believe that so-called “respectable” people would take such deplorable actions as this! I have reposted this to my site and will also be reposting to my alternate site, “Eye of the Beholder”, also on WordPress, which is dedicated to children and adults with genetic disorders.

    Your child…such a face!! You just want to kiss that smile til it rubs off on you!!

    God bless you and yours, dear…

  66. Maria Athena says:

    I have always asked myself why people suddenly feel entitled to things when they go on vacation.

    Perhaps I’m making use of the word “people” too generally, when I really mean to say “tourists” or “parents” or “mothers” – after all, it’s not like you see all too many youngsters conniving their way through tourist hotspots with a haughty sense of superiority about them, demanding special preference over their peers.

    This vacation entitlement syndrome that takes over so many is absurd. You can get your money’s worth without being a complete asshole to your fellow vacationers. I mean: cutting in line clocks a solid six out of ten on the scale of holiday horridness in itself, but this hiring of handicapped tour guides to do the same breaks the scale.

  67. Domestic Ingenuity says:

    When I first heard this news I was appalled at how social status has enabled wealthy people to use hardships of others to benefit themselves. It’s selfish and disgusting. The only good news in that story is that the child got to experience something that maybe would have otherwise been unaffordable to the family. I work with children with special needs and your article was very powerful. Thank you for voicing your opinion.

  68. cakesbykat says:

    I do not have a special needs child, but our family loves Disney. We have always been thoroughly annoyed at the people that pretend to need a wheelchair just to get on the bus first or get to the front of a line quickly. Especially when we see that same person running to the pool or when the family switches and a new person pretends to need the wheelchair. There are people who truly need a wheelchair and we don’t believe it is fair to them for someone to pretend they can’t walk. While we knew that there were people trying to scam the system like this, we were floored to read that people had hired someone to be their special needs tour guide! I, too, hope that Disney does not make it harder for people with actual needs because of these scammers!

  69. dinkyandme says:

    My daughter is being assessed for a little known form of autism called PDA, we live in the uk. She was recently awarded disability due to her extra care needs. I phoned up to find out how much it would be to take her to the London eye, and was pleasantly surprised by the fast track she was allowed because of the nature of her difficulties. I can not believe any parent would be so low as to pay to use services meant for children with special needs. The reason I haven’t taken dinky on holiday is because it would be too much for her. These allowances mean I can now take her on holiday, these people really do take their circumstances for granted.

    Great post…. X

  70. sockfiddler says:

    I’ve had the hardest week (trying to sort out promised therapies for my own disabled child that have now been withdrawn from him) and this is /exactly/ what I needed to read today, ahead of a chunk more meetings today where I’m trying to shore up support to get what he needs just to get through the day.

    I love you. Thank you.

    Socks x

  71. Sunrie says:

    THANK YOU for this. I have some cousins who are special needs, and we NEVER use this to our benefit. By doing so, we have to admit everyone else in line is better than they are, since we’re getting special treatment.

  72. Antoinette Sun says:

    Thank you for posting this!!!
    A great resource in the metropolitan area is a home based program for head start aged children with Special Needs in the Bronx, NY area. In the program a qualified home visitor works 1-1 with your child for 90 minutes per week to provide educational and developmental supports. The best part is that the program is free for qualifying families.

    For more information please call CMCS Early Childhood Division at the Main Office 718.402.0081

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