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Lifestyle & Recreation

Local Activities Give Kids With Special Needs A Sensory Friendly Experience

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Potter Park Zoo
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Potter Park Zoo's Falconers Program provides an educational experience in a sensory friendly environment.

Many activities that are meant to be fun can be stressful for kids that have autism. Now, some local services are offering sensory friendly alternatives. WKAR student reporter Alina Zhuravel explains why these activities can be beneficial for children with special needs, as well as their parents.

Jason Allen has a 12 year old son with autism. He said an activity like seeing a movie with his son can be difficult because of the looks he gets from other people.

 

“In a regular theatre, we would probably constantly be trying to shush our son,” said Allen.

 

Dominique Miller is a board certified behavior analyst. She explained why kids with autism may react loudly when processing information.

 

“The theatre and the sound and everything is very overstimulating and so sensory friendly options reduce the impact of those sensory components on their sensitive systems,” said Miller.

 

One of those options is Sensory Showtimes at Celebration Cinema—a screening at a low volume with lights on where Allen can watch a movie with his son without worrying about disrupting others. 

 

“The main benefit right there has just been having an inclusive place where we automatically feel more like we have things in common with other families that are there,” said Allen.

 

Other places that offer sensory friendly events include Potter Park Zoo, Impression 5 and Launch Trampoline Park.

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