As any parent will know kids centres are full of excitement and playfulness which also includes, lots of high pitched screaming. Soft play centres are usually jam packed with children especially on weekends. For children with autism, this can be a sensory overload.
”Sensory overload explained as a condition of receiving too much information or stimulation via visual or audio sources; overstimulation of one or more senses. In sensory overload, it becomes difficult to focus on the task at hand.”
I was told a fellow autism mum had arranged an autism friendly play time in kids town, I was excited to bring Dylan It was such a great idea!
Autism friendly play time
- Max 30 kids. This straight away reduced noise levels as soon as you walked in. Some Children with autism have issues with sensory processing and are hypersensitive to touch. Been touched or thinking they are about to be touched can worsen the overload. Having a less crowded play centre is a luxury.
- Dimmed lights . As some children with Autism can be light sensitive. Low lighting reduces visual stimulation.
- Low music. A lot of kids with autism find it hard to shut off background noise. Some noises can be perceived as excruciatingly loud and distracting.
Having an Autism friendly play time was such a luxury for Dylan to be part of. It gave Dylan and myself great bonding time together. When Dylan has a sensory overload he can become upset and physically aggressive which is a very common reaction for children with autism. I don’t take it personal. It is more of a reaction to panic and he just wants to get out of the situation.
We are really looking forward to the next scheduled Autism Friendly Play time at Kids town Limerick. Any one that would like more information on this please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave your comments below. I would be happy to put you in contact with the women who is organising it.