GOSHEN, N.Y. (NEWS10) — LEGOLAND New York Resort has become the latest attraction to become a Certified Autism Center. When the 2023 season opens on March 31st, every ride will have a sensory guide for attractions with bright lights or loud sounds to help accommodate kids on the spectrum.
“Every member of our team has received special training in how to serve guests that have autism or are on the autism spectrum and have other sensory challenges,” Matt Basterman, Public Relations Manager at LEGOLAND, said.
Sensory guides can be seen all over the theme park and at entrances to attractions. There are also quiet rooms dedicated to children with various sensory needs. Mishala Scott has brought her children here before and says she feels more at ease that the theme park is certified.
“I really appreciate that they have at least two hours to themselves,” Scott said. “For this park, I don’t have parent anxiety. Feeling fearful for them touching someone that might not be aware of autism.”
According to the CDC, autism prevalence this year has increased from 1 in 44 children being diagnosed to 1 in 36. To commemorate the certification, the resort gave gift bags to families with sensory-friendly items. Brent Quam says that one mom was surprised and moved.
“She came back to say that it really made her cry,” Brent Quam, Manager of Partnerships and Promotion, said. “Because to have someone thinking about her child-we loved hearing that story.”
Only some items will be available for sale, but quiet rooms are equipped with weighted blankets and hammocks for anyone needing some quiet time. Folks at LEGOLAND say that if you want to plan your next trip, it’s best to check out their website to see if all their information is available.