By Katie Benoit SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS)- Sensory Sensitive Days at local business are helping kids with autism get to have fun. Many children with autism have a hard time dealing with loud sounds or noises, so they can not go to arcades or movies.
“Autism is in some ways a problem with self-regulation. Whenever the sensory systems are over overloaded the children have trouble moderating their behavior,” Micheal Tucker, Director of Operations at the Kelberman Center, said.
The Kelberman Center is affiliated with Upsate Caring Partners and works to provide programs and services to adults and children with autism.
One of these places holding sensory friendly days is Chuck E Cheese. On “Sensory Sensitive Sundays” some stores in the chain open up early on the first Sunday of each month to have a smaller crowd. They turn down music and do not have shows with automated characters while the children are there.
This program and other like it in the CNY area allow kids with autism to be around other children and parents. Karen Kuhn, a mother of a son with autism, says its sometime hard for parents when their children have outburst in front of people who are not familiar with autism. Parents and other children often don’t understand why a child would cover their ears or cry after hearing a loud noise. This is because noises can be painful for children with autism.
We can go as a family and enjoy ourselves and not look on each other and you know our kid just threw their meltdown. You know, because that’s typical for everyone and typical for us,” Kuhn said.
Kuhn feels that many companies have been doing programs like Chuck E. Cheese with open arms. Monica Usrey thinks that programs sensory sensitive program are important and companies have done a good job of tailoring them.
“Sensory friendly nights ensure he can still be able to participate and have fun and feel like a regular kid. And not have all those noises and sounds and distracting things that bother him, impede on his ability to have fun and learn,” Ursey said.
Below are a list of links of some sensory friendly programs in CNY: