Sesame Place Becomes First Fully Certified Theme Park for Autistic Children

This 2018 season, Sesame Place, the Pennsylvanian theme park, will be the first of its kind to have a “Certified Autism Center,” distinction. Eighty percent of the park staff will have specialized training in order to meet the needs of all children, especially those with special needs. Training in areas such as communication, motor skills, and sensory and emotional awareness. Sensory guides will be available to help parents plan activities, based on their child’s specific needs. The park will have quiet rooms and low-sensory areas, for times when kids may need to take a break.

The park has a number of new features for guests who may be sensitive to sensory overstimulation throughout the day. There are two quiet rooms with adjustable lighting, where autistic children can take a break from all the sensory stimulation of the park. There are also two areas of the park designated as “low sensory areas” for guests in need of some quiet time, but want to remain within the park, while migrating to areas that may be a bit less populated. Noise-canceling headphones are available for guests with auditory sensitivity, on a first come, first served basis.

Guests who wish to take in one of the park’s character parades, but wish to do so without direct character interaction such as “hugs” or “high fives,” are encouraged to sit close to where the parade begins or several rows back from the parade viewing line. There are special instructions on the park’s website, for guests who would prefer to dine in quieter environments or who would like to book special “character dines” with limited character interaction or seating furthest away from the performances.

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