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NBA and Chuck E Cheese becoming more welcoming to those living with autism

Photo Courtesy of Autism Daily Newscast

Photo Courtesy of Autism Daily Newscast

Brianna Watts, Chief Editor

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New strides are being made to accommodate those with autism.

For children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), attending public events can be difficult, if not impossible. According to raising children.net.au, “Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can be oversensitive or under sensitive to noise, light, clothing or temperature. Their senses – sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste – take in either too much or too little information from the environment around them.”

A popular children’s venue, Chuck E Cheese, is joining the movement for being inclusive.

On the first Sunday of every month, Chuck E Cheese will now open two hours early and host a sensory-friendly experience for those with autism spectrum disorder. “Sensory Sensitive Sundays” will utilize less crowding and noise dimmed lighting, the show and music off or down, and limited appearances by Chuck E Cheese (chuckecheese.com). In conjunction with the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD), “Sensory Sensitive Sundays” will be available at select locations.

Photo Courtesy of nashvillefunforfamilies.com
Posters seen at participating locations

You can visit chuckecheese.com to get the full list of participating locations.

Attending a basketball game, a seemingly impossible feat, may now be a possibility for those affected by ASD. The NBA is currently installing “sensory rooms” at select locations to make attending a game easier for those families. The fifth “sensory room” installed was unveiled April 13, in Salt Lake City, Utah (cnn.com). A feature at “Autism Awareness Night,” the room is for those with autism and other disabilities.

According to cnn.com, “The NBA is partnering with nonprofit KultureCity to make 19 arenas ‘sensory-inclusive’ by the start of the 2018-19 season this fall. The areas include the homes of the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat.” Inside each sensory room, lights are dimmed, colors are soft, and sounds are peaceful.

According to CNN, “These rooms often feature games and tools that include multisensory play therapy, activity, and technology stations. There are weights, an LED marble wall, fidget toys, iPad stations, fiber optic light ropes, trampolines, bubble tubes, bubble walls, bean bags, touch walls, calming sound monitors, and a storytelling tree. The storytelling tree helps children engage in play therapy.”

The rooms are not only for children but for anyone who needs a break from the game. Licensed clinical social worker and clinical director of the Peers Academy at the Heritage Treatment Center, George Ballew, who consulted Vivint on the design of the room said, “Sensory rooms aid in both calming and stimulating the senses for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

Photo Courtesy of NBA.com
One of the first sensory rooms found at the Quicken Loans Arena

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