Advice For First Timers with Special Needs

alexdridgealexdridge Registered User new member
Hey there,
My brother in-law, who is autistic, is a huge video game and Nintendo fan. When I heard that Nintendo was showing the Switch at PAX South here in San Antonio (where I live), I got us two tickets for Saturday. Neither of us have ever been to a conference like this before and are PAX first timers. I want to do everything I can to make sure he has an amazing time. I've read up on other posts here on the forum regarding recommendations for first timers. They have been wonderful, thank you everyone. I also wanted to see if anyone else has any specific recommendations for attendees with special needs. Thank you all and I hope everyone has an amazing time.

Posts

  • RenfamousRenfamous Weeb, Unexceptional Cosplayer Houston, TexasRegistered User regular
    alexdridge wrote: »
    Hey there,
    My brother in-law, who is autistic, is a huge video game and Nintendo fan. When I heard that Nintendo was showing the Switch at PAX South here in San Antonio (where I live), I got us two tickets for Saturday. Neither of us have ever been to a conference like this before and are PAX first timers. I want to do everything I can to make sure he has an amazing time. I've read up on other posts here on the forum regarding recommendations for first timers. They have been wonderful, thank you everyone. I also wanted to see if anyone else has any specific recommendations for attendees with special needs. Thank you all and I hope everyone has an amazing time.

    Once you arrive on site, it'd be a good idea to make your way to the AFK lounge so you both know where it is. (It'll be on the second floor, at the top of the big escalators you see as soon as you walk in the main doors to the HBG). It can be a great meetup spot in case you get separated with dead phones or a good place to escape to if you get overwhelmed by the noise or the crowds.

    YoungFrey
  • alexdridgealexdridge Registered User new member
    Renfamous wrote: »
    alexdridge wrote: »
    Hey there,
    My brother in-law, who is autistic, is a huge video game and Nintendo fan. When I heard that Nintendo was showing the Switch at PAX South here in San Antonio (where I live), I got us two tickets for Saturday. Neither of us have ever been to a conference like this before and are PAX first timers. I want to do everything I can to make sure he has an amazing time. I've read up on other posts here on the forum regarding recommendations for first timers. They have been wonderful, thank you everyone. I also wanted to see if anyone else has any specific recommendations for attendees with special needs. Thank you all and I hope everyone has an amazing time.

    Once you arrive on site, it'd be a good idea to make your way to the AFK lounge so you both know where it is. (It'll be on the second floor, at the top of the big escalators you see as soon as you walk in the main doors to the HBG). It can be a great meetup spot in case you get separated with dead phones or a good place to escape to if you get overwhelmed by the noise or the crowds.

    I wasn't aware of this space so thank you so much for mentioning it Renfamous. I'll certainly check it out. The fact that PAX has such a wonderful facility like this I think speaks volumes about the event and the surrounding community.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    I'm glad Renfamous described the location of the AFK Lounge, because I found it's inferred location on the map a bit hard to process. If I'm understanding it correctly, it might help to know that it is right above the main lobby along an open terrace of rooms. You can't miss them. If you are in the lobby and look up, that's where the AFK should be.

  • nevermore13nevermore13 Registered User regular
    Also, any Enforcer should know where AFK is. So if you have a problem finding it one can direct you and likely escort either of you to that location.

  • UNHMANUNHMAN Registered User regular
    You may also want to grab a medical badge when you arrive at PAX helps with lines at panels, sometimes a few minutes early into Expo Hall etc.

  • macbittmacbitt Registered User regular
    For Nintendo you'll need to deal with a long wait time. The Switch is the most anticipated demo at the show and there will be a line the moment they open up the Expo Hall.
    UNHMAN wrote: »
    You may also want to grab a medical badge when you arrive at PAX helps with lines at panels, sometimes a few minutes early into Expo Hall etc.
    In the past the early Expo Hall access has been on Friday only. They let you in with the media pass folks at 9:00 AM.

    The usual strategy to minimize time in the Nintendo line is to arrive at the convention center by 8:00 AM and stay in the Queue Hall for two hours. That gets you into the Expo with the first wave, reducing the Nintendo line. That may or may not be for you and your brother-in-law. All total it may or may not be more time than just getting into the Nintendo line at random (it takes up less "PAX time" so it works for people maximizing their experience).

    Nintendo sounds like they'll have a cool setup for the Switch demos. Instead of a traditional demo booth they'll have environments setup, where they expect you to play the Switch (a living room, cross section of an airplane, etc). You can read more here.

  • japesterjapester Registered User regular
    UNHMAN wrote: »
    You may also want to grab a medical badge when you arrive at PAX helps with lines at panels, sometimes a few minutes early into Expo Hall etc.

    Since I have the medical form in front of me, I should point out that it is specifically meant for people who have a mobility impairment. Heart, limb, orthopedic issues, etc. Folks who can't stand for long periods. I don't believe it would apply to the OP as stated. Unless he has an additional condition besides his autism.

    And yes, Expo access is alongside media badges on Friday, just like prior years. That is also listed on the form.

  • alexdridgealexdridge Registered User new member
    Thank you all for the above feedback. I've picked up our badges and had a quick look around the conference center on Thursday just to get my bearings.

    I hope everyone has a great time

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