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Zoos, Aquariums To Go Autism Friendly

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More than two-dozen zoos and aquariums across the country will roll out the red carpet for kids with autism and their families this weekend.

A variety of offerings scheduled for Sunday are designed to make the venues more welcoming for those affected by autism through an initiative dubbed “Zoos Go Blue.”

“A day at the zoo or aquarium is a wonderful outing for any family, but for individuals with autism and their families, it can be a challenge,” said Lisa Goring, vice president of family services at Autism Speaks which partnered with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums for the event. “Zoos Go Blue is a great opportunity for our families to enjoy a fun day designed with their needs in mind.”

Planned to coincide with Autism Awareness Month, the offerings will vary from one location to the next, organizers said. Many zoos and aquariums will provide free or discounted admission for people with autism, educational programming designed with this group in mind or tables with information about the developmental disorder.

Select venues in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Utah are scheduled to participate.

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Comments (3 Responses)

  1. Dale says:

    As if zoo’s were a good thing! I don’t think so.

  2. Natasha says:

    I wish zoos and aquariums here in Iowa would participate in this. There is such a huge lack of support here for autism-friendly events.

  3. K says:

    One change that I wish zoos, aquariums, museums, etc would enact would be to realize that in programs/shows, music does NOT need to be as loud as it usually is and that the presenters/performers can greet the audience & get everyone ready to view the program WITHOUT encouraging kids/adults to YELL/clap/cheer to indicate they are “ready” for the show. The extremely loud noises were unbearable to my child (yet always LOVED the programs!) and this is something that could be easily accommodated/adapted at most shows/programs & everyone would benefit!!

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