Children's Museum holds 'Sensory Friendly Day' for children with autism, other disabilities

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by Andrew Horansky / KHOU 11 News

khou.com

Posted on February 17, 2014 at 8:15 PM

Updated Monday, Feb 17 at 8:21 PM

HOUSTON -- The Children’s Museum of Houston turned off the music and toned down the lights on Monday. It was all for a very special reason: Sensory Friendly Day.

“So that kids who have sensory difficulties don’t have as much difficulty as they might normally have in a museum,” said Cheryl McCallum, education director.

Too much noise can often overwhelm children who are autistic, like 6-year-old Bryce Lemmon who wore noise-canceling headphones during his visit.

It marked the first time that he and his mom were at the museum.

“I can’t go places with him and just feel secure,” said April Lemmon, mother. “My life can’t be happier other than just looking at him and seeing him smile.”

Others said it was special for parents and kids to know they are not alone.

“It’s great to have a community that is here with them today,” said Dana Harris of Spectacular Kids.

“If places like the movie theater or even grocery stores or restaurants could do something like this, it would help the community understand autism and help the kids integrate,” Lemmon said. “I would love it.”

Organizers said the museum received about 600 visitors on Monday. They plan to start holding as many as four 'Sensory Friendly' days each year.

Visitors are encouraged to pre-register online.

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