Fathers For Autism

I am a road-worn father of an amazing autistic daughter and NT son. I started this blog to provide information, a sounding board and a voice for fathers of autistic children.

More to see on my Facebook page.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Dadvice - Theme Parks...

I just got off the phone with Legoland. I spent 40 minutes on hold and was finally connected to a nice lady from purchasing. I asked about scooter availability and guest assistance for autistic children.

She put me on hold several times as she asked around her department for advice. Honestly, she was very helpful and tried her best to get me the information.

Her supervisor instructed her to try to sell me their VIP package as it would get me to the front of the lines. I could tell by her change in tone and vocal patterns that her supervisor was listening in on the call now. 

I asked her if there were any guest assistance passes for children with special needs and, after a beat, she said "no, I'm sorry there aren't, but the VIP pass will do the same thing."

I smiled, breathed, and asked to be connected to Guest Services.

I could tell from the relief in her voice that she didn't want to sell me the VIP passes and was happy I asked to be transferred. She also said that it would be best if I called their extension directly as there might be a delay in transfer (ostensibly removing her supervisor from the connection).

I called the Guest Services line and someone picked up right away, no hold time. They informed me that scooter availability is limited and that they DO have guest assistance passes for special needs children.

Another small smile.

The bureaucracy involved in theme parks can often deter parents from pushing too far. Or they can cause you to lose your cool and explode, which usually doesn't lend itself to people wanting to help you.

The lady in purchasing desperately wanted to help me, but was held down by the money making machine. If I had been loud, abrasive or lost my temper, she might not have helped me the way she did. I probably wouldn't have been able to pick up on the subtleties and nuance of her tone and vocal style.

In short, I got what I wanted because I remained calm and kept digging.

Sometimes, the bureaucracy wins. This time, a quiet lady in purchasing beat down the corporate monster with little more than shift in her voice.

Thank you, Tracey from Legoland, for being an advocate in your own way. I am truly grateful.

Autism awareness can be as simple as understanding a need and finding ways to help...even when everything and everyone is fighting against you.

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