I and my family were at Space Mountain on Mon, April 10th in the early evening hours when a "situation" ocurred in the handicapped line. The CM's and Security went above and beyond in maintaining calmness and control.
A boy (approx 12 - 14) was having what we call in Special Ed refer to as a complete "melt down." While NOT diagnosing, (and besides not being allowed to) from assessing the situation, I would say he appeared to be Asperger's, Austic or SED (severe emotionally disturbed) classification. However, something apparently triggered him and he was screaming, cursing, and in hysterics with anger. (I specialize and was trained in defusing these type of meltdowns and crisis intervention at my school site).
The boy was in the back corner of the line (where the bench type seating is). Staff had made a small Human Barrier (about 3 security + a couple of CM's) and had re-directed the line away from the situation. Other security were standing by more towards the CM Entrance/Exit, but watching the situation. The boy would get extremely aggitated and scream obcenities regarding people, Disneyland, and then go into that hysterical type of screaming that the only word understandable was ..THE word. Again, the CM's and Security stood calm, quiet and just kept the line moving. This went on for at least 1/2 hour that I know of, and it was in the process when we arrived. (Incredibly long for a meltdown.)
An adult (family ?) was trying to calm the boy down, but from what I observed and the way I have been trained, she actually appeared to be causing the problem to escalate. (Standing directly in front - not to the side, demanding full eye contact, etc.) But she did keep him from running a few times. (We were trying not to look, but as the line shifted, you would get glances).
When the boy finally de-escalated enough to be moved, they quickly moved him via wheelchair through the CM Exit/Entrance. The CM's then quickly and quietly explained what happened. Very Very well handled. My Sister also works in Youth Mental Health as a Crisis Intervention Counsler...we both were very impressed by how the entire situation was handled. We did get to tell one CM that, but would like to pass on kudos to the rest of the Cast who were there.
You guys went above and beyond in an extremely difficult situation. You gave the child the space needed, and directed guest attention away from him (not easy at all). Again, I have never been so impressed.
From someone who works with these kids when they "go down" I applaud you all. . Just wanted you all to know that your part in helping this turn out successfully (it could have gone sooooo wrong) was appreciated by a number of us there.
Now, go and take some time out for yourselves. These things are always emotionally draining. So...