Autism Awareness Day At Six Flags St. Louis With Autism Speaks & eSpecial Needs – It Was Great!

We’re here at Six Flags St. Louis, and
it’s Autism Awareness Day. And it’s sponsored by eSpecial Needs and Autism
Speaks. And here’s the check-in booth. Can I have one of these? Sure absolutely! This is our Sensory Guide. It gives a little information about the rides and their sensory levels. So you kind of know before getting on the ride, what to expect. Oh, that’s a cool idea! And if they check in
here then they get like a wristband or… They do. A wristband for boarding And we give them information of they’re going to return how to do the attraction access passes for return times. Okay, very cool. Okay. Thanks for stopping by. Thank you. And it says, “Designated quiet areas can be found at Miss Kitty’s Saloon and the
Palace Theatre”, and “Family changing areas can be found in first aid. These
areas are highlighted on the map.” And they’ve got some signs around the park about autism. “Did you know nearly half of those with autism wander or bolt from safety”. This is the Palace Theatre. And it’s one of the Relaxation Stations. So in here is just a quiet area where
you can sit and cool off and relax. They’re not doing shows now this time of
year, so it’s just a quiet area where anybody can come and get away from
crowds and loud noises. “Did you know – autism affects all ethnic
and socio-economic groups.” And the special map for today, on the back of it, shows all the rides and the sensory levels. The rides and experiences are
divided up into different sensory levels from Sensory Mild, Moderate, High, Very
High, and Max. And the levels that have the most choices are actually the
Sensory Mild and the Sensory Max. The nice thing about it is that it describes
each ride and what you’ll experience so you can choose the rides based on what
you think the person with you with autism can handle. For instance, Bugs Bunny National Park Train Station is a train ride, it’s winding, and slow, has
track sounds, bell sounds, and a loud whistle. Thrill level mild. And down to American Thunder. It’s a roller coaster, with twists, drops. It’s fast. The sounds
they’ll experience are gears, clicking, track sounds, and it’s loud. Thrill Level – Max. So this can really help you plan
your park experience based on what you think the person with you with autism
can handle. Did you know – as many as one-third of people with autism have
epilepsy (seizure disorder). And at Miss Kitty’s they have a Sensory Area. And their eSpecial Needs booth is set up outside with some brochures. This says, “Welcome to the Zen Den. A Sensory Space.” There’s different activities in here for
them to do. Chairs that rock. Fiber optic cords that they can play
with. Some steps and a slide. A little color pad to play with. There’s a spinning chair to sit on. A spin disc. And a figure eight set of blocks of different colors. And subdued lighting. And a jumping pad there. And some cool bubble lights there. It changes colors. And there’s movement. And it’s dimmed lights. It’s nice and cool in here. Different activities for them, that they can move from one thing to another. Very nice! This is the first time they’ve ever done this
here. This is supposed to be the first time they’ve done it, and if it goes well, they’re talking about possibly having more events in the
future. That would be great! So, but we’ll see how this turns out, but so far it’s been very
well received. Yeah. They’re very excited and the families are very ecstatic. Yeah. In fact some people have been asking if this is going to be a permanent installation. Wouldn’t that be cool! It would be cool. I just think it’s great. Now this has been an exciting opportunity, so we were excited when they contacted us and we just put together everything we could to bring out and we figured we would trial different items to see what did well, what didn’t do well. And most of the items, everyone seems to like playing on! Yeah. So if they do it again, we’ll figure out
something different for next year as well. I hope there’s more to come. I think
there will be. We’re seeing this through a lot of different facilities, organizations, agencies are doing this more. I mean airports are starting to put
in their own environments. Yeah. Sensory rooms. The aquarium downtown that’s in St. Louis, they’re going to have an inclusion room as well. That’s good! So more more and more businesses are starting to
accommodate. That’s good for everyone. Everybody. I mean it’s just good for the
families who have children on a spectrum of special needs so now they can be included and bring their children as well. So sometimes it’s just hard to get out not knowing how… what might set off a child sensory-wise, but now at least there’s a space to go to, that if something does unfortunately happen, there’s a space to go to to help out. Yeah, so that’s important. I appreciate your time. My pleasure. Thank you. Thank you! Did you know… Satoshi Tajiri creator of Pokemon, has ASD. So I think Autism Awareness Day was a huge success at Six Flags St. Louis. They say they
plan to expand on it and do it again and I think that’s a great idea. Kudos to Six Flags! And I’m glad that they partnered with eSpecial
Services and Autism Speaks to do this. And I think it raised awareness among
people that don’t deal with autism in their family as well. And we also saw
several families with autistic family members here taking in the different
experiences, riding the rides, and taking advantage of the special rooms set aside
just for them. And it was a great day! Thanks for watching – bye!


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