Friday, February 8th, 2013
Tonight, Sesame Street Live will offer an “Elmo Makes Music” performance for kids with autism and other special needs at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Organized by Autism Speaks, the performance—the first Sesame Street Live one of its kind—will have extra space in seating areas so kids can move around. Parents got production notes ahead of time to help kids prepare, and there will be quiet areas at the theater. It’s being touted as an “autism-friendly performance,” notes the local paper.
Sesame Street is joining the ranks of other entertainment venues around the country that offer performances geared toward kids with special needs, including AMC’s Sensory Friendly Films monthly movie screenings and New York City’s Theatre Development Fund’s Autism Theatre Initiative, which offers autism-friendly Broadway shows (upcoming ones include Spiderman, The Lion King and Newsies). A portion of the sales of select tickets for the Detroit show will benefit Autism Speaks.
It is awesome that these initiatives are happening. Absolutely amazing; even just a few years ago, no such offerings existed. But as the parent of a child with cerebral palsy who has sensory issues, I really appreciate when performances are billed as “sensory-friendly” instead of “autism-friendly” (although both kinds are open to kids with sensory challenges). It just makes them more welcoming to children with different diagnoses—and as parents of kids with special needs, we know just how awesome inclusion can be.
From my other blog: