We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Autistic child in Paris

Toledo, Ohio
Level Contributor
390 posts
30 reviews
Save Topic
Autistic child in Paris

My DD 11 has trouble walking for very long without a meltdown. When we have been to places like Disney World or other places with lots of walking and sight seeing, it's pretty hard on her. Fortunately we can stop at a academy or park but, I was thinking of renting a large stroller like a jogging stroller that might fit a "big kid". She is fairly small for her age and actually still hung out in the double size Disney stroller last year!

Is there any place I could rent something like this in Paris? We are coming internationally and a large jogging stroller would be quite a hassle on a plane.


Eiffel Tower Summit Priority Access...
490 reviews
from US$73.20*
Likely To Sell Out
Moulin Rouge Show Paris
3,167 reviews
from US$109.90*
Likely To Sell Out
Eiffel Tower Priority Access Ticket...
585 reviews
from US$51.80*
Special Offer
Luxury Paris Day Trip with Champagne...
464 reviews
from US$301.60*
Level Contributor
17,262 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Autistic child in Paris

I don't know the answers, but how would she do if you stopped 'moving' every so often, using gardens, cafe seats, etc ?

My nephew has Aspergers so I know travel and changes in routine are challenging.

New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
Level Contributor
21,261 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Autistic child in Paris

There are places to rest/relax all over - parks, cafes, public benches, and you can always mix the walking with riding the city buses which are very easy to use.

You may also want to contact


private, as he/she has much experience in this regard.

Los Angeles
Destination Expert
for Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Level Contributor
10,993 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Autistic child in Paris

I don't know about renting, but renting vs. buying such an item in many cities is a wash. There are certainly vendors that sell these things in Paris. Au Vieux Campeur would be the place I'd check for rental. But even in most parts of the US - and in California, where you can rent almost anything, it's not cheap or easy to find those strollers for rent. (There's a place in Anaheim that rents them, but I wouldn't say it was super economical).

Jogging strollers will not fit in most cafés (or similarly sized strollers - we watched both French- and English-speaking people struggle with that). The French seem more comfortable leaving their stroller in some corner of the restaurant terrace. They are probably not reading TripAdvisor, ;-)

I think all the walking (and internalization of many stimuli) are hard on many travelers in Paris. I'd probably look into a stroller than suited her size and just buy it. Or at least plan on that, as if it were part of the airfare for that individual.

I do hope someone can come up with a reasonable rental place (renting anything in a foreign country takes a bit of patience; wait - renting across state lines in the States takes patience). You've come to the right place for help.

At some point, a very lightweight foldable wheelchair will work for her (and be more appropriate than a stroller, unless she needs to recline). Do not be dismayed by terminology (the word "wheelchair" sounds different than "stroller," I know). Paris is not at all the most stroller- or wheelchair-friendly place on the planet nor is it the best kind of place for people who find long walks a problem. Just saying. You shouldn't miss it on account of that - you're doing the right thing in being prepared!

(There will be lots more helpful responses than mine, I'm sure).

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
386 posts
82 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Autistic child in Paris

I was just thinking that you might find a few more responses if you were to post this question under a different heading such as " hiring a stroller in Paris " - this might catch the eye of someone who has done this or knows where you can find one.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
6,438 posts
458 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Autistic child in Paris

We needed a wheelchair last time in Paris for my mom who had trouble walking. Luckily our hotel lent us one for the entire visit but before we learned that they had one, people had suggested we rent one from a pharmacy.

So try contacting a local pharmacy to see if they have the stroller and also check with your hotel.

Edited: 01 July 2013, 03:25
Le Bugue, France
Level Contributor
14,097 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Autistic child in Paris

Local pharmacies (you can google them ahead of time) have wheelchairs, which I would recommend (among other things, the person in the wheelchair and the person pushing get in free to most Paris sites). It IS a b**ch to bobble around Paris in a wheelchair, but not more than in a big stroller, and the buses will accommodate you. If your DD can deal with being in a wheelchair ( I know I had a VERY hard time with the concept, but it proved to be fine), do that. French people, IME, are exceptionally kind and helpful to anyone handicapped in any way.

But yes, there are places all over Paris to just stop and rest, if that's a better option. Good luck.

Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
2,045 posts
86 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Autistic child in Paris

I also have an autistic member of our family and I have seen the challenges that can come up.

Firstly I would buy something that you think she can be pushed around in(try ebay) for something second hand or cheaper. Can you hire equipment in your own country and take it with you to Paris? Perhaps the Autistic Association could help you. Ring the airline and ask them how you can transport this to Paris on the flight when you check in.

I would plan days in such a way that if there were alot of walking you would use the stroller/wheelchair and if there was an opportunity for frequent breaks then just walk. If she has a meltdown I am sure that people in general are very understanding of people with disabilities and if not...well they can go jump.

Overstimulation is a problem so I would keep as many familiar items/routines around as possible. I am thinking of the metro and how you would handle that as there aren't many escalators that would make transporting a wheelchair easy.

I wish you well and that you have a wonderful time, I wish I could tell you how to hire equipment in Paris but there will be someone who can give you the right assistance.

Edited: 01 July 2013, 04:46
Walnut Creek...
Level Contributor
34 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Autistic child in Paris

What time of the year you are coming to Paris? If it is right now: July to August, it's the busiest time, so it might be super difficult to maneuver a stroller in the mass of people. Everywhere you go, will be packed with people, over stimulation already for your DD :( I think it's better to go without and taking a break on steps (by Sacre Coeur) or seats at the podium (by Notre Dame) or by the fountain (outside of the Louvre), or park benches at the parks. Good Luck!!

Level Contributor
852 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Autistic child in Paris

You know your child better than I do. Have you planned your trip already? It is not Paris is not particularly a wheelchair or big stroller friendly city. Two years ago, I was pushing a 2 yearold in a little stroller. We were going only 2 blocks in the Northern Marais. Cobblestone sidewalks which were narrow and the curbs were about 6 inches. My upper arms had a work out even though my nephew was 30 lbs.In addition, big city, big traffic,big stimulation. Have you thought about a trip in the French countryside? I could envision a quiet rental or quiet hotel with a big yard.... Great daytrips to small towns. ..just food for thought.

New York City, New...
Level Contributor
6,438 posts
458 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Autistic child in Paris

My sister and I pushed my mom around Paris for 5 days in a wheelchair. (She has a hard time walking and fell and twisted her leg in the airport)

We did get a workout and the cobblestone streets were harder but doable. My mom is heavy (probably heavier than your daughter )

People were very very nice! Crowds opened up to let us through, we were ushered through quick and didn't have to wait on museum or restaurant lines. We even were given a private tour of Versailles on the way out (the regular way was not wheelchair accessible) and avoided the crowds.

I don't know if the French are particularly kind to people in wheelchairs or if we would have been treated the same way elsewhere.

Edited: 01 July 2013, 11:45