Autism Acceptance Month Day 6: What Community Accommodations Exist for Families of an Autistic Individual?

Thankfully, the world is slowly becoming more accommodating to autistic individuals and their families. While it may take a little digging, you can probably find many of these, and even more, in your community.

Sensory Friendly Entertainment 

Movie theaters, live shows such as plays and concerts, and other types of entertainment, often have sensory-friendly times. During these times lights may be dimmed, music lowered, and instead of remaining in their seat, kids/adults with autism are free to stand up and dance or sing along.

Theme Park Accommodations

Most theme parks have disability access for attractions, which means rather than standing in long lines, families get a virtual spot with a comeback time. Additionally, many theme parks have quiet sensory rooms where an over-stimulated autistic child can re-regulate.

Doctors, Dentists, and Other Providers

Many offer families the option of coming in for a tour so they know what to expect on appointment day.

Virtual Tours

Many businesses are also starting to offer virtual tours where, from the comfort of your home, your autistic family member can familiarize themselves with the physical space of a place ahead of time.

Able Eyes is a great one-stop shop for accessing virtual tours and is searchable by zip code and type of business.

Autism-Friendly Travel

Most airports will allow autistic individuals to tour an airport ahead of time. Date of flight, they are often allowed in the first boarding group. Some airports will even assign an autism-trained TSA agent to assist the family from airport arrival to flight departure.

Many hotels are becoming autism certified. Trained staff offer quick check-in, sensory bags for hotel stay use, and sensory areas throughout the property.

Before you visit any business or location, call ahead and ask what accommodations they offer autistic individuals, and in most cases, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Thank you to each business that has taken a step toward accommodating individuals with autism.

Tomorrow’s Question: What educational options are available for children with autism?

Published by

Amy Nielsen

Amy Nielsen is a former children's librarian of nearly twenty years. She now spends most of her time obsessively pounding on a keyboard. She is the author of It Takes a Village: How to Build a Support System for Your Exceptional Needs Family, Goldilocks and the Three Bears: Understanding Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her upcoming YA Worth it debuts in May of 2024. She is also a freelance writer for The Autism Helper. When she's not writing, she and her family are most likely crusing the waters of Tampa Bay.