Children’s Museum in New Hampshire Creates Exhibit for Children With Autism Spectrum and Sensory Processing Disorders
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions or personal experiences.
For some people, ‘traditional’ events and places can be overstimulating. We all process things differently and it can be especially hard for some children to feel safe and secure in certain spaces.
We take things for granted and we don’t often realize how something like a shopping mall, museum, or coffee shop may be a challenging place for some folks to navigate and feel comfortable in.
For this very reason, the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire in Dover has created a special museum day specifically for children with autism spectrum or sensory processing disorders.
For one day each month, the museum will be closed to the general public and open exclusively for families of children with special sensory needs.
Exploring Our Way: Sensory Friendly Playtime is a unique monthly, low-sensory event designed to allow children to explore and spend a positive day at the museum with their families without the typical daily nuisance of noises, crowds, and overstimulation.
During this day, the museum will limit the number of families and have quiet zones with sensory activities, noise-canceling headphones, and will turn down the sounds and lights to create a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience.
Stumbling upon this event made my day. We often take things for granted and don’t put into consideration the needs of others that differ from our own. Being able to walk up the stairs at a place where there are no elevators or ramps, navigating crowds, focusing in loud spaces, just because you are able to handle what seems like a typical environment doesn’t mean everyone else can.
In order to accommodate and include everyone’s needs and happiness, we need more considerate events like this. Even if you don’t know anyone in your immediate circle who may benefit from something like this, spread the word because you never know who needs it.
You can get a feel for the exhibit before you go on YouTube here.