By Dr. Marciene Mattleman
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – When Noelle Murphy and her family were going to Philadelphia’s Please Touch Museum, 3-year-old Dylan wet himself. Because Dylan is one in 88 children in the US on the autism spectrum with unpredictable behavior, his mom chooses at-home activities. If overwhelmed by his surroundings, he might drop to the floor and not get up or yell.
They were going to “Play Without Boundaries” – an hour for kids with special needs – where neither embarrassment nor explanations are needed for behavior. Kids get to wear hospital scrubs; getting dirty doesn’t matter.
According to research by the American Alliance of Museums, Please Touch is one of 30 museums nationally making special accommodations – dimmed lighting, music turned down.
Dylan’s mother cried on the way home having found a place where she didn’t have to worry about unpleasant experiences and Dylan enjoyed a day like other kids.
Read more at the NPR health blog.