Theme parks are usually places full of loud noises, bright colors, strange smells, and lots of people. This may be enjoyable for most children, and even a lot of adults, but for those on the autism spectrum, it may sometimes feel like too much. Sesame Place is looking to become a place that all families and children can fully enjoy.
With additional resources, new training, and quiet places, it has become a Certified Autism Centre. Sesame place had been running in Philadelphia for over 35 years and is the world’s first theme park to become certified as autism-friendly.
Based on the popular long-running TV show for children, Sesame Street, the park now has quiet rooms, low sensory areas, and options while experiencing the attractions at the park. The staff has also undergone rigorous training to help cater to children with all kinds of needs.
Sesame Street itself has been hailed as one of the most inclusive programmes for children on television. Debuted in 1969, children all over the world quickly fell in love with its colorful characters, including Kermit, Miss Piggy, Oscar the Grouch and Mr. Snuffleupagus. Just last year, it introduced Julia, a muppet with autism, who helps the characters on the show, and the viewers, understand why she expresses herself differently.
Currently closed for the winter, Sesame Place will reopen on 28 April for the new 2018 season, implementing all these new changes. Like other popular characters like Big Bird, Elmo, and Kermit, children can meet Julia herself at the park.
Sesame Place is the only theme park based on Sesame Street but it also plans to open at a second location in the US by 2021.