Epilepsy Foundation

I was just wondering if anyone had any experience they could share with me about taking their child with epilepsy to an amusement park. I know that knowing the triggers is key when deciding on any trip as a family. We are looking at taking our family to a park the end of this winter/early spring out in CA. I was doing some research online and wasn't able to find as much info as I would have liked. I don't want to avoid places like Disney all together because I feel like it isn't fair to all of my children, but I want to find something to do that I am able to include all 3 of them in. With James he does have other disabilities that we take into consideration when planning trips, but we have never done anything like an amusement park before. Any input, thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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I have taken my daugther to Disney, Busch Gardens and plenty of other amusement parks.  I only put her on slow moving rides, no roller coasters what so ever, not even the kiddie rides.  At Disney she was able to get on almost every ride.  She loves them, she gets excited, sometimes when the ride is over she starts to cry cause she doesn't want to get off, so I let her go a second time.  My lil girl is 8 and I have a 11 year old son who also rides with her which is very helpful.

 

I love the ones that I can get on with her.  I hope this helps some.

 

Have a Merry Xmas and a joyous New Year!!

 

Mayra

I have two kids with epilepsy and we have taken them to Disneyworld, Cedar Point, Busch Gardens. We have never had any problems with the rides. My daughter has multiple disablilties in addition to the seizures. We take her on most rides except for high speed roller coasters only because she is ataxic and has low muscle tone. I am more concerned with whiplash or something.  She used to have quite a few breakthrough seizures and we did have one episode of seizures that resulted in an ER trip at Disneyworld last December. It was our first day there and we hadn't even been in any of the parks much less gone on any rides. We didn't have any other problems the rest of the trip and she went on the rides.

My son isn't tall enough for the fast roller coasters so he doesn't go on them but he goes on pretty much everything he is tall enough for. He doesn't like really fast rides anyway so we use our judgement. Just because he is tall enough, if it is too fast and head control would be an issue we don't have him go on.

Disney is a good place to go since they have a lot of rides that everyone can go on.

My son has low muscle tone also so I already figured that there would be no roller coaster rides for him. I did read somewhere online yesterday that Disney is well equipped to deal with seizures as well as other special needs. Did they handle things smoothly when you had to make the trip to the ER while you were there? With it being our first time going to one with him I just want to be well prepared. I know where ever we end up going we will be taking a lot of breaks with him since he has more seizures as he gets over stimulated and tired.

Nancy Hagen said:

I have two kids with epilepsy and we have taken them to Disneyworld, Cedar Point, Busch Gardens. We have never had any problems with the rides. My daughter has multiple disablilties in addition to the seizures. We take her on most rides except for high speed roller coasters only because she is ataxic and has low muscle tone. I am more concerned with whiplash or something.  She used to have quite a few breakthrough seizures and we did have one episode of seizures that resulted in an ER trip at Disneyworld last December. It was our first day there and we hadn't even been in any of the parks much less gone on any rides. We didn't have any other problems the rest of the trip and she went on the rides.

My son isn't tall enough for the fast roller coasters so he doesn't go on them but he goes on pretty much everything he is tall enough for. He doesn't like really fast rides anyway so we use our judgement. Just because he is tall enough, if it is too fast and head control would be an issue we don't have him go on.

Disney is a good place to go since they have a lot of rides that everyone can go on.

I bring my dd to Storyland in NH.  Her triggers are over stimulation of senses.  She does very well, before the first time we went I called to make sure there was a place we could go that was quiet incase she got over whelmed.  I also asked how to have a stopped if she was having a seizure.  I sat with her on every rride and she did great.

We were asleep in our hotel room at one of the Disney resorts. It was around 3am. We had to call an for an ambulance. We notified the front desk and they met the ambulance at our room and were there until my daughter and I left in the ambulance. They told us to take a taxi back to the hotel (we did not have a car) and they would reimburse us for the taxi and they did.

 

I do think that excitement does have some influence on her seizures but she has been to Disney 3 other times and several other amusment parks. So not sure why this trip. We have had some other problems at airports or airplanes and other trips but not consistent enough to pinpoint anything in particular. I have seen a few posts about flying in airplanes and altitude but we fly on airplanes a lot and I have only seen three other instances either on the plane or after the flight. Several times she was really freaked out about getting in this one elevator at an airport because one time she was in it, she had a seizure. It took about 5 trips at that airport and that elevator before she stopped getting upset getting in it.

 

 


 Damara Boas said:

My son has low muscle tone also so I already figured that there would be no roller coaster rides for him. I did read somewhere online yesterday that Disney is well equipped to deal with seizures as well as other special needs. Did they handle things smoothly when you had to make the trip to the ER while you were there? With it being our first time going to one with him I just want to be well prepared. I know where ever we end up going we will be taking a lot of breaks with him since he has more seizures as he gets over stimulated and tired.

Nancy Hagen said:

I have two kids with epilepsy and we have taken them to Disneyworld, Cedar Point, Busch Gardens. We have never had any problems with the rides. My daughter has multiple disablilties in addition to the seizures. We take her on most rides except for high speed roller coasters only because she is ataxic and has low muscle tone. I am more concerned with whiplash or something.  She used to have quite a few breakthrough seizures and we did have one episode of seizures that resulted in an ER trip at Disneyworld last December. It was our first day there and we hadn't even been in any of the parks much less gone on any rides. We didn't have any other problems the rest of the trip and she went on the rides.

My son isn't tall enough for the fast roller coasters so he doesn't go on them but he goes on pretty much everything he is tall enough for. He doesn't like really fast rides anyway so we use our judgement. Just because he is tall enough, if it is too fast and head control would be an issue we don't have him go on.

Disney is a good place to go since they have a lot of rides that everyone can go on.

I took my son to Disney World a few months before he was diagnosed with complex partial seizures. He was miserable the whole week. Too much stimulation and he ended up with diarrhea and not wanting to even go to the parks. I would start small, personally, have decided that amusement parks are off of our vacation list. It all made sense once he was diagnosed!
Disneyland has been wonderful. Check in @the Guest relations first thing. They will tell you where the nurses station is, a quiet place to rest, and the can give you a pass to use the disabled entrance for all rides. This allows you to access rides without the crowds & long lines. They will even will help you with which rides will be o.k. for your child. They really go out of their way to accommodate. Have fun!

My almost 7 yr old son had 2 grand mal seizures a year and a half ago and they have been fully controlled on Depakote (just so you have background on him). That first summer I asked my neuro specifically about rides and he said it was fine. He's been to several carnivals as well as Kings Dominion (big amusement park) and rode all the rides including roller coasters and we had no problems at all. But I suppose every child is different. I just felt like we had to try because I didn't want him missing out on all the fun his sister was having. Same for the movies....it took 6 months for me to get up the courage to take him because both of his grand mals occurred in a dark room while on the computer the first time and while watching tv the second time, but he's been to the movies several times now and has been fine. So hard to know what to do, what risks to take. Something we'll all have to live with. Sigh.

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