Autism Friendly Places
For far too long, individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families have been shut out of so many of the activities in the community that most of us often take for granted. Enjoying a night out at a restaurant, taking a vacation, going to the grocery store, are just a few among the countless activities that families end up avoiding because of the significant challenges they’ve experienced. AFS stands in awe of the tremendous work being done by the many therapists and service providers who help individuals with ASD venture out into the world. AFS paves the way by preparing the places they will go and the people they will meet to include them in a meaningful way when they arrive. The adjustments need not be huge nor necessarily affect anyone else, but for individuals with ASD, even minor changes can make an enormous difference and make it possible for them to function in that setting. We do this by anticipating the challenges that may arise from difficulties with language, pragmatics, cognitive flexibility, and self-regulation and take steps to minimize them. We recommend sensory adjustments and provide visual supports and other tools to make the environment more predictable, to address challenges with transitions and to assist with social interaction and perspective taking.
For more information about Autism Friendly Spaces and their upcoming events, please visit: http://autismfriendlyspaces.org/