Tuesday evening, August 21, 2012, was a very special evening for families with children who have Autism and Sensory Processing Disorder. Mystic Aquarium and Sensations Charitable Foundation, Inc. have continued to offer families a variety of unique offerings in a truly sensory friendly environment. Their partnership continued on its successful path as they created a free evening specifically designed for families who may not typically go to the aquarium. A truly sensory sensitive and judgement free zone.
Mystic Aquarium opened its doors from 6:45 pm to 8:45, with the support of Sensations Charitable Foundation, Inc., to allow over 350 people to enjoy the exhibits while being provided with the variety of sensory accomodations that are necessary for many of the children and young adults who attended. The lighting in the Titanic exhibit was raised and the ambient sounds throughout both the Titanic exhibit and inside the aquarium were lowered much to the delight of the guests. At each outdoor exhibit the microphones were turned off to add to the intimacy. Also,there were 'Break' zones both inside and out so children who either needed to take a break or run around could do so in order to allow their family to stay longer and enjoy the exhibits. Yogibo beanbag chairs provided the supports inside while Sea School adminstrator, Mary Beth Sweeney, left the Sea School's open play space available so children could run, play music, dig, and draw with chalk.
In addition, families were able to gather information about the SECASA, MetLife Special Needs Financial Planning services, Sensations Charitable Foundation Social Skills programs and SOS Skateboarding with Worship Skateboards, and Walk Now for Autism Speaks SE CT.
Families travelled from Middletown, NY, Worcester, MA, and Portsmouth, RI for the evening.
A special thanks goes out to the volunteers from Mystic Aquarium for supporting the evening and adding to the experience for the families. Many of the families commented on the way out how they appreciated the 'supportive and helpful staff'.
Sensations Charitable Foundation has one more FREE event before the start of school for families with disabilities -'Back to Pool' for families swimming through life with a disability in Baltic, CT on Sunday August 26th from 3 pm -5 pm with Bubbles to Butterflies Swim School