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Special event for children with autism at Please Touch Museum

Friday, March 26th, 2010

A family outing can quickly turn sour for children with autism. Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum is catering to the needs of such children with a special event on Saturday, 3/27/10.

A lively and colorful place like the Please Touch Museum can overstimulate children with autism, says Karen Misher. She has been to the museum with her twin toddlers, who are on the autism spectrum:

Misher: They can be overwhelmed by sensory inputs, whether that is sound or texture or just the volume of people.

After seeing children with autism cry or have temper tantrums on their exhibit floor, staff at the Please Touch Museum decided to host a special event tailored to their needs.

Angela Hoffman Jelin from the Please Touch Museum explains:

Jelin: For example, we will have a quiet room so that if there is sensory overload there will be a place to calm down that’s quiet.

In addition, many of the museum’s noisy features will be turned off, and museum employees have gotten special training. Being among other families affected by autism may make people feel more at ease, says Marissa Tabak of Variety Children’s Charity – a co-sponsor for the event:

Tabak: All the people that are there are parents with kids with autism, they understand, there is no judgment going on.

The event at the Please Touch Museum is one example of growing offerings offerings for families affected by autism. There are also special movie nights and sporting events.

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