Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Orlando Pro Bowl will offer 'autism-friendly' sports experience

Posted By on Tue, Jan 24, 2017 at 3:45 PM

  • Photo via Camping World Stadium website
At this Sunday's Pro Bowl game in Orlando, the NFL is making a big move toward making its events more inclusive by offering "autism-friendly" accommodations for some of its young fans.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, organizers at the event will over fans on the autism spectrum noise-canceling headphones, stress-relief squeeze toys and a safe room, should anyone need it.

Working with the A-OK Autism organization for guidance, the league will offer "Sensory Sacks" at Camping World Stadium to anyone who wants them.

The kits contain the headphones and a squeeze toy, as well as identification badges kids can wear to help others recognize that they may behave differently or have trouble communicating.

The stadium has also set aside a quiet room staffed with trained personnel for families to bring their children if the game experience becomes too much to handle.

In an added safety measure, children will be given a wristband with their row and seat number in case they wander away from their parents.

Children on the autism spectrum often experience sensory overload, which is brought on by sounds, light, touch and other outside influences. According to federal estimates, about 1 in every 68 children is included on the autism spectrum.

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