World Autism Day is coming up on April 2nd and LiveBig has shared a list of the best things for people with autism to do during the upcoming school holidays. LiveBig is a specialist allied health and assessment services provider for people with disability, including those on a NDIS plan.
“Individuals with autism may have unique needs and preferences when it comes to recreational activities due to differences in sensory processing, social communication, and repetitive behaviours, which can impact how they experience and interact with the world around them. These activities have been chosen specifically to provide a positive and comfortable experience for individuals on the autism spectrum and their carers and families,” said Juliet Middleton, CEO of LiveBig.
Here are some of the best things LiveBig recommends to do during the school holidays:
- Experience the Powerhouse Museum: The Powerhouse Museum has interactive exhibits that allow visitors to touch and explore different machines and technology. They also have a sensory room available for visitors who need a break from the noise and crowds.
- Visit the Australian Museum: The Australian Museum offers a sensory-friendly experience for visitors on the autism spectrum. The museum has created a Quiet Room, with low lighting and comfortable seating, for individuals who need a break from the hustle and bustle of the museum. In addition, the museum offers special programs and tours designed for visitors with disabilities.
- Take a trip to Taronga Zoo: Taronga Zoo offers an autism-friendly initiative called “Zoo Friends”, which provides a range of supports and resources to make the zoo experience more enjoyable for visitors on the autism spectrum. This includes quiet zones, a visual story guide, and a dedicated support team.
- Explore the SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium: The SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium offers a sensory-friendly experience for visitors on the autism spectrum. The aquarium has created a dedicated quiet area, with comfortable seating and dimmed lighting, for individuals who need a break from the sensory stimulation. In addition, the aquarium offers special tours and programs designed for visitors with disabilities.
- Take a walk in the Royal Botanic Garden: The Royal Botanic Garden offers a range of sensory experiences that can be enjoyed by visitors on the autism spectrum. The gardens offer a peaceful and calming environment, and there are sensory-friendly trails, including the Calyx Sensory Garden, which features a range of fragrant and tactile plants.
- Melbourne Museum: The Melbourne Museum offers a range of exhibits and galleries showcasing the natural and cultural history of the region. During sensory-friendly sessions, the museum reduces noise and lighting levels, making the environment more comfortable for visitors with autism. Additionally, quiet spaces are available for breaks if needed.
- SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium: The SEA LIFE Melbourne Aquarium is home to a vast array of marine life, including sharks, stingrays, and penguins. For visitors with autism, the aquarium offers quiet spaces, reduced noise levels, and early entry options to avoid crowds.
- Luna Park Melbourne: Luna Park Melbourne is an amusement park with a variety of rides suitable for all abilities. On selected dates, the park offers “Quiet Sessions” with reduced noise and lighting levels for visitors with autism.
- IMAX Melbourne: IMAX Melbourne is a cinema with a giant screen that shows educational and entertaining films. The cinema offers sensory-friendly sessions with lower sound and lighting levels, as well as relaxed screening environments to accommodate visitors with autism.
- ArtVo Immersive Gallery: ArtVo Immersive Gallery is a unique art space with interactive, sensory-friendly exhibits that encourage visitors to touch and explore the 3D artwork.
- Scienceworks: Scienceworks is a museum that showcases the wonders of science and technology. During sensory-friendly sessions, the museum reduces noise and lighting levels, and quiet spaces are available for breaks if needed.
- The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel: The Melbourne Star Observation Wheel is a giant Ferris wheel that offers “Quiet Flights” with reduced noise levels and fewer people on board for a more relaxed experience.
- Melbourne Zoo: The Melbourne Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from around the world. For visitors with autism, the zoo offers quiet spaces, reduced noise levels, and early entry options to avoid crowds.
- Sensory Farm Experience – Eden Farm Wellness: A farm that offers tailored programs for individuals with disabilities, including animal care, sensory trails, and music programs.
• Visit the Queensland Museum, which offers a sensory-friendly experience for visitors with autism. You can take a break in the Quiet Room or join one of their special programs and tours designed for visitors with disabilities.
• Head to Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary for a peaceful wildlife experience with native Australian animals. The sanctuary offers a sensory-friendly program called “Sensory Safari,” which provides a low-stimulus, guided experience of the park.
• Explore the Brisbane Botanic Gardens for a serene walk in beautiful gardens and walking trails. The gardens offer a sensory trail, which includes tactile and fragrant plants.
• Visit Flipside Circus, which offers circus classes and performances for people of all abilities, including those with autism.
• Watch a movie at a sensory-friendly cinema, where many cinemas throughout Australia offer modified screenings with dimmed lighting and low sound volume. Event Cinemas even offer Sunday sessions where children can move around throughout the cinema.
• Join a specific training program for children with autism at Brisbane Boxing Gym in a supportive environment, while enjoying the benefits of increased fitness and discipline.
• Explore Ipswich Rail Museum’s “All Aboard” zone filled with hands-on simulators to illustrate scientific principles at play. Many engines of varied ages are also on display, some of which you can even walk through.