The past few years have been eye-opening for me as a mom.  Loud sounds like drums, music, and fireworks, changes in schedules, and being in large crowds...these were all triggers for my child and would turn our happy and fun moments into nightmare situations for our family.  The reason - one of my kids has sensory processing issues.  Although we don't have an autism diagnosis, this news of a certified Autism-Friendly attraction in Minnesota made this mom very happy...and I know my kiddo will be thrilled too.

The Mall of America and Nickelodeon Universe are the first attractions in Minnesota to be certified as Autism-Friendly!  I heard this great news from the Star Tribune and did some checking myself and it is true.  According to, this is the only location labeled "Theme Parks/Family Entertainment Centers" in all of Minnesota that is certified.

What does this mean?  According to the Star Tribune, sensory guides are now available for each ride in Nickelodeon Universe.  80% of the staff that are serving guests throughout the mall and Nickelodeon Universe have also completed sensitivity and awareness training.

I'm excited, as a mom, to have a place my kiddo can enjoy...and I can actually worry just a little bit less, maybe even enjoy it too, because people are there that understand.  I can't wait to see more attractions, restaurants, and even hotels added to this list for Minnesota!

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