Autism Awareness Doesn't End With April: 3 Upcoming Events
Fun and exciting opportunities to help raise awareness in the coming month.
Photo courtesy of BluePath
As Autism Awareness Month comes to a close, it’s important to remember that support services and special events don’t end with the month of April. Bid a fond farewell to last month as we look ahead to all the fun events coming up for autistic residents and their families in May!
While a day trip to New Jersey’s Six Flags seems like a seminal summer outing for most Westchester children, all the lights, sounds, and long lines are not the part we tend to fondly reminisce over. For those on the spectrum with sensory processing difficulties, a family trip to a traditional amusement park could very well be off the table.
This year, however, Six Flags Great Adventure is teaming up with Gersh Academy to present the park’s first ever Autism Day. From 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., the park will open to those with autism and their families with some park-wide tweaks to make the day more manageable: lights will be dimmed and music levels lowered, those who are unable to wait will find shorter lines and other various time-mitigating accommodations, rides will be rated “by sensory and thrill levels,” and guests will find easy access to designated decompression areas filled with sensory-friendly items. More than 100 Gersh Academy staff will also be on hand to assist children and their families, and educational presentations by autism professionals will be available throughout the day. Tickets are $32.99.
May 19 — BluePath Service Dogs Walkathon
FDR State Park in Yorktown Heights will be hosting BluePath Service Dog’s second annual walkathon from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, May 19 to raise funds for the local organization. BluePath provides autism service dogs for safety, companionship, and to give individuals a greater level of operational freedom. All ages are welcome. Walkers can choose between 1.7 and 3.0 mile trails, while families and spectators can enjoy activities like games, face painting, a bounce castle, and of course meeting some of the puppies in training!
The Autism Center, a secular and all-inclusive program provided by Westchester Jewish Community Services, offers monthly morning support groups for grandparents of children on the autism spectrum. Group members can share their experiences, build a support network, as well as take advantage of the communal resources provided by the Autism Center. The group meets once a month with a floating schedule. Call for more details: 914.761.0600