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The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation Needs Your Input for their Directory of 'Sensory Friendly' Companies and Services - featured March 10, 2011

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Editor's Note: You may have noticed that we have tried, in our newsletter/blog to let you know about the 'sensory friendly' movie-going opportunities through AMC theatres as we hear about them. The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation would like to take that a step further. Please read below and provide your input! PediaStaff will provide a link to the new community resources directory when it is complete.

[Source: The Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation]

Did you know that many AMC Theaters partner with The Autism Society to bring sensory friendly films to select communities on a monthly basis?* According to their website:

“The program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing! The idea for the program began with a request from a parent with an autistic child for a special screening at AMC Columbia Mall 14 in Columbia, MD.”

Pretty amazing, isn’t it? The ripple effect from one parent’s advocacy affected special needs families across the U.S. It got me thinking, AMC Theaters can’t be the only retailer that offers a “sensory friendly” experience, right?

We would like to compile a list of sensory friendly retailers, services, etc. and we need your help. Tell us about the businesses in your community that accommodate our sensational kids. Maybe it’s a restaurant that offers a child’s menu with options that can be brought to the table immediately (like the Claim Jumper Restaurant). Or maybe a “bouncy house” that offers a night just for special needs kids (like Jump 1-2-3 or Jump Planet). Is there a “special Santa” for holiday photos? Let us know what’s going on in your community. Send us your suggestions by March 22. Please include the business name, website, address, and e-mail address or phone number in your reply. We will compile the information and post it on our website in April.

As you may know, the Foundation started an online treatment directory where parents and others can search for services in their state by 10 categories of providers, such as physicians, OTs, PTs, SLPs, etc. One of these categories is called “Community Resource.” We originally envisioned this as a category for other difficult to find services, such as hair salons, fast food places, gymnastic classes, and other community resources that provide special accommodations for kids like ours. We will place the community locations you send us by state in this category with information on the home page about where to find these “sensory friendly” supports.

Can’t find a business that accommodates our kids? Ask them! Our guess is that the Maryland parent started out doing the same thing. Let’s work together to build a comprehensive list of sensory friendly resources.

We appreciate any suggestions you can give us, and as always, thanks for your support!

Caraly Walker, SPDF

Tags: News of the Week Sensory Processing Disorder Newsletter 11 March 2011