It’s been a busy and inspiring spring for the Flutie Foundation. We are making great strides in helping families affected by autism live life to the fullest. This Thursday, The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation for Autism and the Morse Institute Library will be unveiling a new space in the library. Dougie’s Corner will serve as a resource center for people looking for information on autism and spectrum disorder resources, as well as providing a comfortable space in downtown Natick for anyone in need of a quiet space. This unveiling is a reminder of how far we have come in creating autism-friendly opportunities. A part of living life to the fullest is getting out there and experiencing all our area has to offer. Listed below are three worry-free opportunities for your family to enjoy.
Created by parents of an autistic child who found dining out to be an anxiety provoking and stressful experience, this program is meant to bring the fun back to eating out. Autism Eats organizes several dinner parties at restaurants in the greater Boston area where food is served buffet or family style (no waiting) in private dining rooms where the music and lighting are adjusted to accommodate those with sensory sensitivity. This is an opportunity for families to enjoy a dinner out where there is no need to feel uncomfortable and to have the chance to socialize with others. For more information on upcoming dinners, please check out their website: http://autismeats.org/index.html
The Discovery Museums of Acton
Visiting a museum with young children is challenging enough, but for those with kids on the spectrum, it can often feel impossible. The Discovery Museums of Acton, MA are working to change that. They are providing free evening admission for families of children with ASD throughout the year. The Museums are closed to the public so families may explore alongside others with similar needs. Museum staff can help direct visitors to a quiet space in each building for children that may need to take a break from stimulation. Food is generously provided by Not Your Average Joe’s of Acton (including gluten-free options).
- Sunday, May 22, 3:30pm - 7:00pm (This event will overlap with public hours from 3:30pm - 4:30pm.)
- Saturday, July 9
- Sunday, August 14, 3:30pm - 7:00pm (This event will overlap with public hours from 3:30pm - 4:30pm.)
- Saturday, October 15
- Saturday, December 3
In addition, the museum is also offering free ASD Friendly Afternoons on select Tuesdays from 1:30pm - 4:30pm. During ASD Friendly Afternoons, no school groups or birthday parties are scheduled in order to avoid overcrowding and support accessibility of exhibits. A dedicated room is available to welcome families with a child with an ASD to orient them to the campus and programs, and provide a quiet space for children needing a break from the stimulation of the museums. Dates include: May 3, June 7, October 4, November 1 and December 6.
For more information and to register, please visit: http://discoverymuseums.org/EspeciallyForMe
Blue Man Group Boston
Finally, is your family looking for a chance to get out on the town and take in a show? Boston’s Blue Man Group, a performance that combines music, technology and comedy will have an autism-friendly performance on Sunday, June 26th at 11am. Minor production changes will make the show more sensory-friendly, including the reduction of sound and light. In addition, audience supports will be in place, including trained volunteers and a calming area, all in a completely judgment free environment. For ticket information, please visit: https://www.autismspeaks.org/sites/default/files/images/2016_bmg_boston_social_story_4.5.16.pdf
These are just a sampling of the programs out there. We know there are many more. What are some autism-friendly places you like to visit? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know!
All my best,