Special Needs Events – APRIL 2019 Autism Awareness Month
National Autism Awareness Day aka Light It Up Blue – April 2nd.
Every month we will share events that are just for our kiddos with special needs. Be sure to verify date and times with venues as they can change. Also, be sure to RSVP for those Who require it.
Special Event(s) For This Month Only (OR Upcoming Soon)
- Wings For All Please join The Arc of Georgia and The Arc of the Midlands for the first Wings for Autism® event in Georgia. ATL, Delta Air Lines, and TSA are excited to welcome families for a fun day of practice at the airport. We hope you can join us! April 9, Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
- Social Night for Kids with Autism by Hopebridge. April 10, 2019. Celebrate the expansion of their Suwanee community! They will provide drinks, snacks, as well as sensory friendly activities for kids on and off the spectrum. This new facility has enabled them to provide for families hope and support for each child to live their best life, and we are excited to share it with you!
- Lynwood Park – Special Needs Easter Egg Hunt. Apr 13, 2019 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM. The holiday funfest will be held on the outdoor basketball courts (handicap accessible) behind the Lynwood Recreation Center. The event will include beeping eggs, magnetic eggs with wands to help find them, a bean bag hunt for sensory-sensitive children, and other activities specially tailored to the youngsters. The Easter Bunny will be there to pose for pictures and volunteers will offer face painting, all free of charge.
- Light It Up Blue For Autism
- UMass Medical School, Worcester, April 2nd, 2019. 5:30 – 8 p.m. Free and open to the public. The Ninth Annual Autism Awareness and Acceptance Celebration will coincide with Autism Speaks’ signature campaign, Light It Up Blue, which is an international event dedicated to raising awareness about autism.
- Light It Up Blue: Winchester Lynch Elementary School, Winchester Town Common, April 2nd, 2019. The Winchester Disability Access Commission hosts this event to promote and celebrate autistic people as family members, friends, classmates, co-workers, and community members who make valuable contributions to our world. This year’s event emphasizes education and awareness.
- Light It Up Blue Autism Awareness – Burlington Grandview Farm in Burlington, April 2nd, 2019, 6 p.m. A family-friendly event to raise awareness, promote acceptance and show support for those living with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Enjoy yard games, speakers, pizza, public speakers, craft table and a count down to light the common blue.
- Wings for Autism Free program specifically designed to support families of children with autism, creating a traveling test run to help ease the stress of airline travel. By getting comfortable with the airport and flight experience without actually leaving the airport, parents and their children with special needs can gain the familiarity and confidence they need to take future trips. Logan Airport, Boston, April 6th
- Blue Art Show Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. is proud to host an exhibition of blue or mostly blue artworks in honor of Autism Awareness Month. Blue Art Show will be held at the Downtown Pittsfield, Inc. offices at 33 Dunham Mall in April. There will be an opening reception for Blue Art Show on Friday, April 5, from 5 to 8 pm during First Fridays Artswalk, and the show will remain on view through April 26, 2019.
- The Autism Spectrum Center and the SPARK Study Team at Boston Children’s Hospital are excited to invite you to our Spring Autism Fair! Sat, April 6, 2019 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM EDT
- Big Apple Circus Embraces Autism Event April 6, 2019 Show provides sensory adaptations to welcome ASD patrons and their families. There will be modifications to sound and lighting, a professionally staffed calming area in the lobby, extra signage, volunteers with helping hands, fidgets and earplugs. * The Social Story will be available as a PDF with your ticket purchase.
- Spring Autism Fair by Boston Children’s Hospital Sat, April 6, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
- Autism Eats Autism Eats provides autism-friendly, non-judgmental family dinners at restaurants. Join other families to enjoy a dinner with those that get Autism. Maggiano’s in Boston, April 7th, 2019. Meet Red Sox Mascot Wally.
- Special-Education Conference & School Fair Marlborough, MA, April 11th, 2019. Ages and Stages: Developmental Perspectives Throughout the Education of a Child, is for Parents, Special-Education Advocates, Attorneys, Administrators, Out of District Coordinators, Clinical, Therapeutic and all Related Service Providers. Presentations will focus on the essential components of programming for students with special needs.
- 2019 AUTISM ADVOCACY DAY AT THE STATE HOUSE April 11th: invites the community to hear speakers, legislators, self-advocates and more. In addition, attendees are encouraged to visit their legislators to advocate for support of legislation and funding for autism-related services.
- Annual Parent Autism Conference 2019 April 13th Families of individuals diagnosed with autism, as well as BCBA professionals* are invited to a FREE conference and workshop that will provide current and very practical information about living with autism.
- Sensory-Friendly Roller Skating at Interskate April 17th Come enjoy this sensory-friendly roller skating experience during our April Fun Week. The music will be off and the lighting will be slightly lowered. Adaptive aids for roller skates will also be available!
- Bounce! Trampoline Park Thursday, April 18th Sensory-friendly hour at Bounce! Open just to Autism Families and music will be off.
- 29th Annual Autism Conference April 23rd more than 400 professionals, educators, and families. The Sheraton Springfield Monarch Place Hotel in Springfield. Doors open at 8:00 a.m. with the Exhibitor Showcase, breakfast and sign-in. Presentations begin at 9:00 a.m. and the conference concludes at 4:00 p.m.
- Assistive Technology Expo Wednesday, April 24, opportunity to learn more about assistive technology, gathering together companies and organizations from around Massachusetts.
- Presented by Centria Autism, Superhero Autism Activity Day Sat, April 27 FREE family fun at the Fore Kicks II Indoor & Outdoor Sports Complex
- Calmer Con Saturday, April 27th Two timed sessions are available.
- The Autism Project (TAP) is hosting its 17th Annual Imagine Walk and Family Fun Day for Autism on Sunday, April 28th at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick, RI
- on Saturday, April 27th, The Boston Red Sox celebrate our friends in the Autism Community. Show your support for all the valuable work many organizations do for all with autism spectrum disorders. A portion of each ticket price will be donated to Autism Speaks.
Thanks to a first-ever partnership between Six Flags Great Adventure of New Jersey and the Gersh Academy for Students on the Autism Spectrum, thousands of these kids and their families had the whole park to themselves—modified just for them, with less noise, music and flashing lights—on Autism Day 2018 at Six Flags Great Adventure—the first time an entire national amusement park in the U.S. was transformed and open to just kids on the autism spectrum, and their families. This year, on May 8th, they’ll do it all over again— bigger and better. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit: http://customeducationfoundation.org/sixflags/
Studio Movie Grill and Official Sponsors are pleased to sponsor a private screening of a family-friendly movie every month. Special needs children and their siblings are free. All other tickets are just $6.
- APR 6: DUMBO
- APR 13: SHAZAM!
- APR 20: MISSING LINK
- MAY 4: AVENGERS: ENDGAME
- MAY 11: UGLYDOLLS
This showing features adjusted lighting and sound to cater to persons on the autism spectrum. On the first Saturday of every month, CinemaWorld welcomes all families to enjoy a Sensory Friendly film with dimmed lighting, low sound, and a Trained and Caring staff, to provide an optimal viewing experience. Special snacks are permitted (due to dietary restrictions and/or allergies) All family members are Welcome to Attend! *Facility will open at 9:15 a.m. for early entry*
- Dumbo April 6th
Showcase Cinemas and Autism Speaks
Join us the first Saturday of each month at 10:00 am through December at these participating locations:
Warwick, RI, Randolph, MA, Revere, MA and Milbury, MA.
- How to Train Your Dragon 3 April 6th
A sensory friendly movie is a movie which is shown without previews, the sound is not as loud as a regular movie, and the lights are not as dim. You can also talk, shout, scream and run around the movie theater during these movies!
- 4/6 Dumbo
We are now expanding our Sensory Friendly Film program to four showings per month. The second and fourth Tuesday and Saturday.
- Shazam! April 9, 2019
- Dumbo April 13, 2019
- Hellboy April 23, 2019
- Missing Link April 27, 2019
On the second and fourth Saturday at 10:30.
- Missing Link – April 13
- Penguins – April 27
- Ugly Dolls – May 11
- Aladdin – May 25
Join us for a series of special sensory events, designed for guests with sensory sensitivities, special needs or various physical abilities who might benefit from a less-crowded environment. These events will provide a quieter and calmer environment for guests to explore the full museum as well as experience a sensory-friendly movie in the Giant Screen Theater.
Museum Early Access | 9 am Explore less-crowded indoor exhibits and outdoor offerings at your own pace, an hour before our normal opening.
Giant Screen Movie* | 10 am Enjoy a modified screening with brightened lights, lowered volume and no need for 3D glasses.
Enjoy both the Museum and the Movie or just One.
- Saturday, June 29 Featured movie: Great Bear Rainforest 2D (Run time: 40 minutes)
- Saturday, August 24 Featured movie: to be announced
- Saturday, December 7 Featured movie: to be announced
The Pinnacle Team offers children and adolescents with various special needs rock climbing instruction that encourage social skills and relationship development. This program is tailored for high-functioning individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Down’s Syndrome, among other developmental disabilities or delays. Head Coach, Scott Gross has a Master’s degree in education, focused on Autism Spectrum Disorders.
This special early-entry morning will allow guests with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to experience the Worlds of Puppetry Museum and specialized educational activities in a sensory-friendly environment. Guests will be welcomed with activities (including guided storytelling as well as touch tables) by Center for Puppetry Arts staff members who have been trained in interactions with patrons with ASD.
12-1pm: Museum exhibits/1pm: Performance/1:45-2:30pm: Create-A-Puppet Workshops™
- April 14, 2019, Harold and the Purple Crayon Harold creates a world of his own simply by drawing it, showing just how far your imagination can take you.
The Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History
Join the Southern Museum on the last Tuesday of each month for a tootin’ afternoon. The adapted museum setting includes sound effects and volume adjustments. Especially relevant to this experience is the designated Quiet Room for patrons who need additional support. Southern provides a social story to learn about visiting and what to expect.
The first Saturday of every month, the Museum will open at 9 AM for families with children on the autism spectrum or children with sensory processing disorders. Sensory Friendly Saturdays include a sensory modified setting, limited admission and sound, and lighting adjustments. Admission will be $5 per person for non-members and free for members. Call Reservations at 404-527-3693 to book your space or purchase tickets online.
All families of children with special needs are welcome to experience a quieter and calmer library all to themselves once a month on Sunday mornings at two select Gwinnett County Public Library branches. Visit gwinnettpl.org for more information and to watch a special social story designed to help prepare your children for a library visit. This is a special event for families with special needs- the library is not open to the general public during this time frame.
Catch Air Kidz Special Needs Nights (Snellville)
Every first and third Wednesday evening, Catch Air Kidz hosts a private, themed night for neurodiverse families. Guests explore the unique play areas for which Catch Air is known without the usual crowd. The facility also boasts free wifi.
Hippo Hopp Special Needs Night
Children with special needs and their siblings get 50% off admissions on the first Tuesday every month at 4 pm – closing time.
iFly Atlanta All Abilities Night
During All Abilities Night, iFly provides an environment of earnest support and inclusion. Specially trained Flight Instructors assist each flyer during the event with extra attention and accommodations based on participant needs.
Popadoodle Kids Imagination Center
This interactive “dream playroom” is designed to spark creativity and artistic expression in every child. Play stations include painting, sand and jewelry art, Lego art and even a Fairy Garden! Held the third Saturday of every month, Sensory Saturdays begin at 9 am and feature a modified sensory setting. Drop-ins are also welcome, and pricing is $7/student.
In the process of new location opening soon.
Neverland Aquatics of Georgia can help develop your child’s swimming skills from learning to independently swim with their face in the water to pre-competitive stroke instruction. Every child learns differently and at their own pace. Adaptive Aquatics is very aware of this and prepared to teach children with all types of learning modalities and disabilities. They offer a learn to swim survival program, private one-on-one lessons, semi-private classes, and adapted group classes for children, teens, and adults with special needs.
The Georgia Ballet
The Dance-Ability program will be open to eight children per semester. The goal of the class is to give children with special needs a traditional dance class experience while tailoring the class to allow for their comfortable participation. A professional dance instructor will teach the dance class with support from teaching assistants who are assigned as needed to help the participating children on a one-on-one basis. Each participating student receives full tuition for the semester, a uniform for the class, a costume for an end-of-semester performance opportunity and five tickets to the year-end performance for their family. Funded by the Resurgens Foundation.
Moores of Atlanta Chinese Martial Arts
The Little Warrior program (ages 4-6) focuses on building skills such as hand-eye coordination, balance, self-defense, and basic martial arts skills. They emphasize discipline and self-confidence as well as having fun! Kids will learn all of this mixture into one awesome program. The students that are in this program test approximately every 6 weeks on the material they have learned. The Shou Sho Warrior (ages 6-12) focuses on physical fitness, discipline, coordination, agility, building self-confidence, and creating a true self-defense skill. Students are required to know all material and maintain a certain level of discipline for their test based on their belt rank. Students are challenged to focus and have fun with the structure and pace of the class. Building character within kids is something that Moore’s is passionate about, in addition to tailoring classes for children with special needs.
Haven Hills Equestrian Center
This is forty-three-acre farmland located in Fairburn, GA which offers riding lessons. Lessons include basic horse care, tacking up, and riding. They provide equine education for enthusiasts in a no-pressure, hands-on, family-friendly environment. Therapeutic horsemanship has been added as a service to cater to special needs children.
Courtesy of the Airport and Delta Airlines, neurodiverse flyers now have a way to become better acclimated to plane travel. Hartsfield-Jackson’s multi-sensory room in Concourse F features a tactile activity panel, mini-crash pit and other soothing, supporting features. The airport also periodically holds a “rehearsal” to practice maneuvering through airports, going through security screening and boarding a plane.
New England Aquarium Sensory Inclusive Morning Access
The Aquarium has partnered with KultureCity to help people with special sensory-processing needs to enjoy their visit. On March 3, June 2, September 8, and December 8, the Aquarium will open at 8 a.m. exclusively for people with special sensory processing needs and their families. The building opens to the public at 9 a.m., but building modifications will remain in place until 10 a.m. Sensory bags, which include fidget items, noise-canceling headphones, and other resources will be available to borrow at our Information Desk.
Greenville Public Library is also hosting events that cater to children on the spectrum but are not exclusive to youngsters with autism. Babs Wells, children’s librarian, explained that children ages 12 and younger are welcome to “sensory-friendly” storytime.
Designed for children ages 4 and up with autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration issues, other developmental disabilities, and their typically developing peers. If your child has difficulty sitting through story times, this program of stories, songs, and activities might help your child.
EVERY SECOND SUNDAY OF THE MONTH, 8 AM – 10 AM (CALL AHEAD TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT)
The Morningstar Access program offers children with special needs/medical needs the opportunity to visit the Museum at a time when there are only a few other visitors. At these times, we have a limit of 100 guests, and children and their families can explore the Museum with less concern about infections and large crowds.
- Preregistration is required! For more information contact: Saki Iwamoto, Health, and Wellness Educator, Iwamoto@BostonChildrensMuseum.org 617-986-3697
The Especially for Me event series offers dedicated hours and free museum admission for families facing developmental challenges. During these events, we offer accommodations that increase access to museum exhibits and provide an opportunity for families to network with one another in an understanding environment. All events are free but require pre-registration online through the links here, so that we can plan appropriately. Dinner, including gluten-free options, is available at all evening events.
- Free Sensory-Friendly Afternoons (during public hours, but no school groups or birthday parties will be scheduled at this time) are on the following dates: March 5, 2019, April 2, 2019, May 7, 2019, June 4, 2019, October 1, 2019, November 5, 2019, December 3, 2019
- Free Autism-Friendly Evenings (closed to the public) are on the following evenings: March 9, 2019, April 27, 2019, June 1, 2019, July 13, 2019, September 28, 2019, November 16, 2019,
- Free Evenings for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Children (closed to the public) are on the following evenings, 5:00 – 8:00 pm: April 13, 2019, August 10, 2019, November 2, 2019
- Free Mornings for Deaf, Hard of Hearing, & KODA Infants and Toddlers (closed to the public) will take place 9:30 am – 12:30 pm on March 25, 2019, October 7, 2019
- Free Visually Impaired Family Evenings (closed to the public) will take place from 5:00 – 8:00 pm on May 11, 2019, and October 19, 2019
Boston Conservatory at Berklee Bernard has built first-of-their-kind degree programs in music education and autism as a way to provide advanced, hands-on training for future teachers. Also, recently introduced an Autism-Friendly Performance (AFP) initiative, which presents an annual AFP on the main stage to individuals on the autism spectrum. The Boston Conservatory at Berklee is the first college ever to offer this type of programming.
The Museum of Work and Culture SensAbilities Program” held on the second Saturday of each month, where families looking for a less crowded atmosphere and low sensory environment can enjoy the facility with sound and lighting adjustments.
Northeast Arc Recreation – The Northeast Arc helps people with disabilities become full participants in the community; choosing for themselves how to live, learn, work, socialize and play. Daily activities and trips. Vary by age, price, and registration.
SenseAbility Gym SenseAbility Gym Incorporated is a nonprofit corporation serving special needs children in the greater Hopedale, Massachusetts area. Our mission is to provide a parent-led sensory gym, giving children with special needs a safe, fun, indoor area where they can play and accommodate their sensory needs. This is the first of its kind in the Metrowest area of Massachusetts. We are a welcoming place for children and families with all disabilities and abilities.
- April 6, 2019
- April 20, 2019
Drumlin Farm Accessible Programming. LEAF at Drumlin Farm provides environmental education programs for people with accessibility and/or special needs. They offer quality, accessible, curriculum-based programming for people of all abilities. Our comprehensive adapted educational programming is taught by our trained teacher-naturalists, who ensure that our programming is inclusive for a broad range of abilities.
Academy MetroWest Sunday Open Gym (by Autism Alliance of MetroWest) Come spend some quality family time while promoting community skills development in a therapeutic environment. No registration necessary, just drop in! Children 10:00am – 1:00pm. Ages 14 and up 2:00pm – 5:00pm. Be sure to verify they are holding sessions.
Chuck E Cheese Sensory Sensitive Sundays
Chuck E. Cheese’s is proud to support families who have children with autism and special needs. We now offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month. Our trained and caring staff is there to make sure each guest has a fun-filled visit.
The Sensory-Sensitive Sundays experience includes:
1. Less crowding and noise
2. Dimmed lighting
3. Show and music turned off or down
4. Limited appearances by Chuck E.
5. Food and games are offered
ACEing Autism is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Your donations help us buy necessary tennis equipment, teaching supplies, pay for court time, support autism community events and invest in growing our program.