PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — It’s getting easier for children with special needs to enjoy all the summer fun.

It can be challenging for children with autism to deal with the lights and sounds at museums, theaters and amusement parks.

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Dr. Judith Miller, clinical training director for the Center for Autism Research at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia suggests parents select times for the outings when it’s quieter.

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“If I’m working with a family whose child really loves animals and wants to be able to go to the zoo I usually recommend the family buy a membership so they can go in short trips and make each of the short trips more successful.”

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She says many children-focused places are now setting aside certain times for special needs children and altering the environment to make the experience more comfortable.