April is Autism Awareness month. Did you know that the March of Dimes funds Autism research? In fact, in the past 10 years we have funded 55 grants totaling over $10.8 million. It is our hope that one day the answers we find will make further research unnecessary.
This month, many organizations are helping to spread the word about this serious disorder and the impact that it has on an entire family. And, at the same time, they are helping these families have a great time together. Here are two exciting initiatives that I want to share with you. Both welcome the kids and families affected by Autism in a very positive and FUN way!
The first is Major League Baseball’s decision to have all 30 of their Clubs raise awareness for the disorder during one home game in April, or on another date during the regular season. Many of the MLB Autism Awareness games throughout the league will provide special opportunities and a safe, friendly environment for families and individuals affected by autism. All too often, kids with Autism (and their families) miss out on doing fun stuff like going to a baseball game. On these designated days, MLB teams up with Autism Speaks or other local autism charities to offer special events. Kids with Autism will have special opportunities to participate and enjoy the game.
For more information about MLB Autism Awareness and to check on your favorite team’s Autism Awareness dates, please visit MLBCommunity.org.
The second initiative involves AMC Loews and the Autism Society. They have teamed up to present sensory friendly films to families with children with Autism. Often, kids with Autism are particularly sensitive to sounds and can’t sit through a movie due to the volume of the soundtrack. In addition, kids with Autism are often sensitive to light and many can’t munch on typical movie theater snacks due to special dietary restrictions. So, on designated dates, the movie theater will brighten the theater and turn down the sound, eliminate ads and previews, and allow families to bring in their own snacks. Kids can even dance in the aisles if they want to! As AMC says, their “Silence is Golden®” policy will not be enforced unless the safety of the audience is questioned.” Sounds like a gift to parents as well as to any child with a sound or light sensitivity - a win-win for all.
To find a participating AMC Theatre near you, click here.
So, how great is this…?! I recommend you get the family out and enjoy these special events and help raise awareness at the same time.