Worldwide we are learning to live with autism. We are adjusting, mostly because we have no choice. Huge numbers of our children and young adults are "on the spectrum" for reasons we don't understand. The response of nations everywhere is do nothing about it.
Sept 30, 2016, 9News.com.au (Australia): Taronga Zoo to open doors an hour early for guests with autism
At least 44 families have registered to attend, and more days are expected to be scheduled, according to demand.
The openings, which remove the stress of crowds and queues, will include early access to animal meet and greets and the Sky Safari Cable Car.
Special training for 120 zoo staff members has been provided for the Access days so the staff can be available on site to provide assistance to guests.
Autism is a developmental condition which affects approximately one in 100 Australian children and can lead to hypersensitivity to crowds and noise
Sept 30, 2016, (Portland, ME) MainelyMediaLLC.com: Sensory friendly ‘Beauty and the Beast’ to be held Oct. 22
Lyric Music Theater will present a sensory friendly matinee of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” at 2 Saturday, Oct. 22, inspired by The Theater Development Fund’s Autism Theater Initiative, which offers special Broadway performances in a welcoming environment for family and friends with children or adults on the autism spectrum or who have other sensory needs.
Audiences will experience a full performance. Environmental conditions will be adjusted to create a welcoming atmosphere for patrons including soft lighting in the theater during the performance, an awareness of the effects of loud noises and jarring lighting effects on those with environmental sensitivities, and activity areas in the lobby for those who need to leave their seats during the performance.
Sept 29, 2016, NBC2 Tulsa: Tulsa State Fair to be an ‘Autism Friendly Location' during duration of event http://www.kjrh.com/news/local-news/tulsa-state-fair-to-be-an-autism-friendly-location-during-duration-of-event
The Tulsa State Fair says it will offer methods of identification to help those with autism feel more welcome at the fair.
The Autism Friendly Locations website offers shirts, wristbands or even hats wit the logo “We’re A OK,” but it is not clear whether or not the fair will offer these items or have its business patrons wear them.
"By bringing attention to autism and the needs of individuals and families, these individuals can put some of their worries aside, and feel confident that they are a welcomed patron, who is valued and accepted," says the fair's website….
Sept 29, 2016, Aberdeen (SD) News: Autism-friendly pumpkin patch for families with children on the autism spectrum, Centennial Village, Brown County Fairgrounds. http://www.aberdeennews.com/entertainment/out-about-calendar/article_43b8a9e4-e08e-5d0b-a8ac-29a45fee9c5f.html
(That was all there was on the community calendar. It seems we all now know what an “autism-friendly pumpkin patch” is all about.)
Sept 28, 2016, NJ.com: Sensory-friendly 'Artrageous' on stage in Rahway on Sunday http://www.nj.com/suburbannews/index.ssf/2016/09/sensory-friendly_artrageous_on.html
The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is proud to bring a sensory-friendly performance of the exciting, interactive, and spectacular "Artrageous" to the stage at the Union County Performing Arts Center this Sunday, October 2 at 3:00 p.m….
"The series of sensory-friendly music, theater, and dance performances offer a relaxed and safe environment for audiences and are specially adapted to help reduce disturbances and increase access for children and adults of all abilities," said Freeholder Chairman Bruce H. Bergen. …
For each of the performances in Union County's Sensory Friendly Theatre series the theatre environment at the Union County Performing Arts Center is adjusted to provide a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space that is welcoming for all families.
Autism Friendly Spaces implements the supportive atmosphere at each of the sensory-friendly performances.
Sept 28, 2016, (UK) Bridgeport News: Cinema's special screenings for those with autism
PARENTS of children with autism can take advantage of autism friendly screenings at Odeon Dorchester on selected Sunday mornings throughout the year.
Subtle changes are made to the environment of the cinema to create a more positive experience for those with sensory difficulties such as a low level of lighting, lower sound levels, no advertising or trailers, and allowance for increased noise levels and movement.
Alan Escott, general manager at the Odeon Dorchester, said: “We understand how stressful visiting the cinema can be for parents of children with attention and sensory issues, being able to provide these screenings each month is absolutely invaluable.
Florida State University’s College of Communication and Information is spearheading Project A+ — research that aims to create strategies for academic librarians to serve patrons on the autism spectrum (ASD).
The Institute of Museum and Library Services — the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums — has awarded $400,000 to researchers from FSU’s School of Information and School of Communication Science and Disorders to study a range of academic libraries to determine what makes an “autism friendly” space.
“Libraries are a safe place to university students,” said Nancy Everhart, professor in the School of Information and principal investigator of the project. “Those with ASD use libraries as a place to study and explore interests, as an escape and as a space away from sensory distractions.”
Coaching for librarians and staff and implementation protocols for libraries will be developed to achieve the goal of creating an autism friendly space. Their impact will be tested on students with ASD.
My Monday Wake Up was about stories of abuse involving autistic children in our schools. (See Oct 3 Wake Up). Today, I’ve got nothing but happy stories about making places “autism/sensory friendly.”
There is a terrible disconnect here. While libraries, movies, zoos and state fairs are doing more to serve the needs of those on the autism spectrum, there are reports in the news of a 5-year old autistic boy in Tennessee coming home with “bruises and a bit mark,” “martial arts techniques” used on kids with ASD, a Georgia boy assaulted by his teacher, a child in Massachusetts with a head injury, and more. Maybe the first places we should make “autism friendly” are our local schools.