Each bag includes a book to prepare the child for his/her visit to the museum, along with lots of visual support to help children better communicate their needs and wants while enjoying the exhibits. Other tools, like noise-canceling headphones and fun fidget toys are also included to help children adjust to their surroundings and calm the senses. Melissa cites that and more businesses are recognizing the need to accommodate those with autism, and we're thrilled to help the museum, a non-profit organization, join this movement. It is so needed!
Besides the sensory items, the bag also includes different guides to help make your museum experience even more joyful. These guides consist of an informational booklet, the sensory bag contents, the “My Guide” and the picture support cards which are attached to the side of the bag. You can read the “My Guide” social story before or while you enjoy the exhibits to prepare your child for the museum’s different sensory experiences.
At the Children’s Museum in Oak Lawn, we are continuously putting forth the effort to make everyone’s experience at our museum enjoyable.
"As a parent of a child with a disability, I know how stressful outings can be," says Adam Woodworth, the Museum's Executive Director. "This partnership with Earlyvention will hopefully take some of that stress out of your visit, utilizing the various items in the Sensory Bags. And, as you use the bag, if you have ideas for other items we might want to include, let us know. We'd love the input."
CEO of Earlyvention Elizabeth Ames stated, "Last year, the museum posthumously recognized our mom, Jennifer Ames, for her volunteer work to help adapt exhibits for young children with special needs. We are honored to continue her legacy and help the museum become an even more inclusive environment. After months of designing the Sensory Support Bags, we are ecstatic to see them put to good use by children sensitive to environmental stimuli, especially those with autism and sensory processing disorder."
The Museum has a few sensory bags at the front desk that you can check out. There is no charge to check out the bag. Simply give your photo ID to the front desk to check one out during your visit.