I’m going to tell you a secret about “low sensory” events. They’re freaking awesome.
The transition from school days filled with structure and consistency to summer days filled with free time and sleeping in can be very hard for a child on the autism spectrum. It can be hard on parents, as well. Children on the spectrum count on knowing what to expect during the day and when that changes, it can throw their whole world into a tailspin. For many kids, the unexpected can cause anxiety, increased sensory issues, fear, and meltdowns.
Thankfully our world is beginning to understand their world just a little more. Many business owners are realizing the importance of having more time, less stimulation, smaller crowds, and the financial strain that comes from having a child with different abilities. These businesses are starting to offer “low sensory” times, usually in the mornings, for children who have difficulty in high sensory environments. Bright lights are dimmed and music is set to a low volume or completely turned off. Also, the crowds are limited and ample time is offered for children and their families to enjoy what is offered. What’s great about these mornings is that any differently abled child can partake. It’s so much easier to navigate a custom chair through a crowd when there are less people. It’s also nice to be among families who understand differences.
If you are struggling for ways to fill your summer days, here is a list of businesses that are offering “low sensory” days:
Autism Society of Colorado offers the Opening Doors program and one partner offering “low sensory” mornings is the Denver Botanic Gardens.
Denver Botanic Gardens: July 21st & August 11th.
The Autism Society of Boulder County has paired up with Airborne Gym to offer “low sensory” times on the following dates: July 9th & August 6th.
The Children’s Museum of Colorado has dates coming up this year on: July 14th, September 8th, and November 10th.
Denver Aquarium holds “low sensory” times on the 2nd Sunday of every month. Here are the dates for the remainder of the summer: July 8th, & August 12th.
Autism Climbs has offered several events at ABC Kids Climbing, so be on the lookout for the next one!
Denver Museum of Nature and Science and Denver Art Museum have held “low sensory” events in the past, although none are currently scheduled. Give them a call and ask for one!
One final piece of advice: REGISTER EARLY FOR THESE EVENTS! They fill up fast.
To the businesses that offer these events:
As the parent of a child on the spectrum who struggles with sensory issues, these events are a wonderful. Our children can relax and be themselves. In addition, their “normal” siblings can have some fun without so much fear of having to leave early due to their sibs melting down. Also, parents can meet and socialize with each other. We all know how hard it is to get together!
If you have any other events not listed, please post them in the comments! Thank you to all the business owners who are recognizing the need for accommodating events in the community!