- Posted by Caravel Autism Health
- On June 26, 2018
- 0 Comments
From sensory-friendly movie screenings to specially designed programs at children’s museums, organizations are stepping up their game when it comes to providing programming for children with autism. Caravel Autism Health has created this compilation of options for summer fun for Illinois and Wisconsin families.
AMC Theatres has created a “Sensory Friendly Films” program. Twice each month, AMC offers special screenings where the lights are turned up and the sound is turned down in theatres. Moviegoers are welcome to “get up, dance, walk, shout or sing” at these special, family-friendly screenings. For more information, visit https://www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films. AMC offers sensory screening events at its theatres in Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago and surrounding suburbs.
At Marcus Theatres, the “Reel Movies for Reel Needs” program creates a welcoming and comfortable environment for individuals with autism. These special screenings are available at seven Wisconsin theatres and three Illinois locations. For details, visit http://www.marcustheatres.com/marcus-specials/sensory-specific-films/reel-movies-for-real-needs.
Chicago Children’s Museum
The Chicago Children’s Museum on Navy Pier hosts a special event on the second Saturday of every month. Called “Play for All,” these special events allow families with children with disabilities to pre-register and receive free, early admission to the museum. To register, visit https://www.chicagochildrensmuseum.org/index.php/about/accessibility-inclusion.
DuPage Children’s Museum
DuPage Children’s Museum hosts special evening programs on the third Thursday of each month. The museum offerings include “Sensory Story and Playtime” and “Sensory Art in the Studio.” For more information on dates and offerings, visit https://dupagechildrens.org/visit/accessibility/third-thursday/.
The Shedd Aquarium (Chicago)
The Shedd Aquarium in Chicago has developed its own app to make visits to the Shedd more accessible for individuals with autism and sensory processing disorders. More information is available at https://www.sheddaquarium.org/plan-a-visit/visitor-guide/Accessibility/sensory-friendly-app/.
Many YMCAs offer programs and classes for children with special needs. YMCA’s three Milwaukee branches offer the Miracle League baseball program for children of all abilities. They also offer adaptive/inclusive swimming lessons for private and group learners. Children with ASD can also participate in the TOPSoccer program, which teaches soccer skills and pairs players with soccer “buddies” as needed. For more information, visit https://www.ymcamke.org/.
YMCA Green Bay offers a recreational program called Full Circle for kids with ASD or other sensory processing challenges. Specially trained Y staff lead the curriculum, which consists of existing youth programs that have been modified to accommodate sensory needs. Details can be found at https://www.greenbayymca.org/programs/specialty/full-circle-program.
Other Wisconsin YMCA facilities, including those in Wausau, Appleton and Oshkosh, offer specialized aquatics programs for individuals with disabilities. Visit or call your local “Y” for more detailed information.
The YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago has created its Special Recreation Day Camp for children ages 5-12 with ASD and/or developmental disabilities. This six-week camp starts in July and offers campers a smaller, quieter and more structured environment in Chicago’s Irving Park neighborhood. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or to register your child.
Sky Zone, the national chain of indoor trampoline parks, offers Sensory Hours at some of its locations. Sky Zone’s Appleton location, for example, hosts Sensory Hours between 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. on the second and fourth Sundays of each month. Sky Zone turns down the music and opens its doors exclusively for families with special needs during Sensory Hours. For more information, check out https://www.skyzone.com/appleton/programs/sensory-hours.
The Kohl Children’s Museum
The Kohl Children’s Museum hosts “Everyone at Play” six times each school year in Glenview. The museum invites children with special needs to explore the exhibits while the museum is closed to the general public. This provides opportunities for calm, creative and collaborative play. A quiet room for stimulation breaks is available. To learn more, go to http://www.kohlchildrensmuseum.org/outreach-programs/everyone-at-play/.
The Chicago Children’s Theatre
The Chicago Children’s Theatre has created Camp Red Kite, a summer arts camp for young people with ASD. Led by a team of artists, administrators, and special education teachers, the camp offers a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment for campers ages 8 to 22. Camp Red Kite starts on August 8 and is designed to encourage self-expression, social engagement and creative exploration. Learn more about this special camp at http://chicagochildrenstheatre.org/campredkite/.