We take Cutie to Sea World often- usually every week over the summer and every other week during the rest of the operating season. I nearly cried when his friend's mother (the child also has ASD) said that her child was too far off in his own world and would neither enjoy nor benefit from a trip to Sea World.
There is NO evidence to suggest that a person with ASD who appears to be "absent" does not still have some kind of connection or ability to enjoy life. Maybe the child would love it- maybe not but there is only one way to know.
When we take Cutie, we use everything that they have to do "therapy". We use Bay of play to handle his sensory issues- he plays there just like the other kids, but we direct and sometimes manipulate his body to achieve the best results and he LOVES it! Sure, we have to take ear muffs for him because it gets loud and the poor child looks as if he had a rough week at a tattoo parlour after I finish covering him in info and medic alert tags, pictures, tattoos and bracelets.
Lost Lagoon is a perfect place to work on sensory and gross motor and balance! Whether you can use it for speech or not really depends upon how crowded it is and the same goes for behavior practices- we try to go during the week whenever possible which makes all of that much easier!
I have taken some of Cutie's friends with ASD as well, they have all had a great time, hopefully soon his other friend's mother will try something- whether it is Sea World or Chucky Cheese although I have been able to get them into a grocery store and we managed that without incident.
Anyway, for the full article, please visit http://www.squidoo.com/special-needs-sea-world and explore the 70 articles! (65 are ASD, the others are, well, experiments with other subjects that went terribly wrong- ie getting pants on!)