Children who are autistic like to play, just as nearly all children do. But sensitivity to social interactions and environmental conditions mean that these children play differently. A popular children’s play center has taken steps to accommodate the particular needs of those with autism. One Chuck E. Cheese site is holding a special day for such children on the first Sunday of each month, according to The Mighty, a website focused on disability, disease, and mental illness. These Sunday events for children that are autistic are taking place at Chuck E. Cheese’s location in Attleboro, Massachusetts.
Autism can make children sensitive to bright lights and loud sounds in the surrounding environment.
On “Sensory Sensitive Sundays,” Chuck E. Cheese adjusts its normally boisterous environment with reduced noise and dimmed lighting. While this calmer environment is more welcoming for children on the spectrum, it also offers their parents the opportunity to meet with others families who understand the challenges and needs of these special children.
Chuck E. Cheese developed its Sensory Sensitive Sundays event in partnership with the Center for Autism and Related Disorders. But it is not the only company that has developed sensory-sensitive events intended for children on the spectrum. The Mighty notes that Toys “R” Us stores in the United States and the United Kingdom have announced “quiet holiday shopping hours” for families with autistic children.
Autism does not have to mean exclusion from the many activities that are part of being a kid. Small changes in a play environment can make a big difference in how children on the spectrum feel about their surroundings.
To learn more about this and related topics, visit the Behavioral Health section of our blog.
Image courtesy of Susan Montgomery / Shutterstock.com
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