How museums are becoming more sensory-friendly for those with autism

It’s a Sunday morning and things are little quieter than usual at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. There are 63 families in the entire musem and they have free range of every floor. The lights are dimmed in some exhibitions, and in others, the sound is turned to a low volume. “My son is an artist, so anything that has to do with art, coloring or drawing different things, he likes,” Yetta Myrick says. This particular event hosted a “make your own corona” activity on the second floor.

For the past four years, Yetta and Aiden, her 14-year-old son with autism, have been attending “Morning at the Museum” events at Smithsonian institutions around the city. The program, which started in 2011, offers early entry and sensory-friendly activities to those on the spectrum of any age. “As a parent, you want to have similar experiences as your child, and this has really opened the door as if we were a quote unquote neurotypical family,” she says.

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5th January 2018