Many local businesses such as Chuck E. Cheese, and The Please Touch Museum are stepping up when it comes it accessibility for children with special needs.
Even local barber shops, like Whiskers Barber Co. & Shave Parlor, have been recommended for their ability and willingness to work with children with special needs.
Now we are seeing the first major United States amusement park step up as well. Six Flags in Jackson, NJ is hosting its first Autism Day on May 3. Typically theme parks are filling with loud noise and heavy crowds, and children with sensory difficulties can find themselves being overwhelmed. On May 3, Six Flags will be making some sensory-friendly accommodations, such as:
- shorter lines and the ability to hold a spot in line in children are unable to wait
- designated quiet areas with sensory friendly items such as iPads and bean bag chairs
- adjusted lights and music
- sensory and thrill ratings on rides
- professional, educated staff from the Gersh Academy
Venues in the Reading area are also offering sensory-friendly days for children with special needs. Chuck E. Cheese offers a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month. The venue promises less crowds, dimmed lighting and music, and limited visits by Chuck E.
The Please Touch Museum also offers a “Play Without Boundaries” program at their facility, which is also offered on Sundays. The museum is quieter and less crowded on these days. The museum also offers Quiet Kit sensory toys in addition to its usual exhibits, art programs, and performances.
Please visit any of the above websites for more information about the sensory-friendly days offered at these locations.
You can also visit the Autism Speaks website for a full list of participating venues and locations.