Como Zoo Offering Special Hours for Kids w/ Autism and Other Sensory Disorders
There aren't as many options for this as I would have hoped but at least the Como Zoo is trying to make it so all families can enjoy their experience! For kids with autism or other sensory disorders, loud noises and lots of activity can really stress them out. It's the unexpected that can really get to them too. That's why the Como Zoo teamed up with the Autism Society of Minnesota to offer special hours for families with kids with autism or another sensory disorder.
Fox 9 spoke to August, a 10-year-old boy visiting the zoo during what the zoo calls Sensory Friendly Mornings. August said "the second that someone tells me to do something I get extremely stressed. And then, it's worse because there's all this noise. And it's harder to hear, and if I don't hear then I get even more stressed, and then, it just downward spirals.”
Robyn DeCourcy, Education Specialist at the Autism Society of Minnesota, told Fox 9, “You can only do so much to make the environment, to change the sensory nature of an environment. But you can do a lot in terms of having it be a welcoming place.”
Because the unexpected is a thing that can be a stressor for kids with autism or another sensory disorder, the Como Zoo offers a sensory map for families to look at on the Como Zoo website so they can plan out their visit according to their child.
Learn more about Sensory Friendly Mornings at the Como Zoo HERE!