Danville, Va. (WSET)- On Saturday folks on the Southside will have a chance to explore what it’s like for a child with autism. It’s a part of the Danville Science Center’s World Autism Awareness Day celebration.
The Center for Pediatric Therapies will put on many different activities that demonstrate the sensory difficulties in autism.
“We will set up different stations with professionals at each station,” said Kristen Barker, Executive Director of Center for Pediatric Therapies. “For example one station will allow for someone to experience a variety of tastes that typical individuals may be able to tolerate, but for a child with autism it will be very noxious.”
The Danville Science Center will also put on a sensory-friendly movie showing. That means that lights and sound will be adjusted. It all starts at 10 a.m.
Here’s a press release on other Autism Awareness Month activities on the Southside.
March 29, 2016 (Danville, Virginia) – Saturday, April 2, 2016 is World Autism Awareness Day. The Danville Science Center is hosting a family-friendly celebration in partnership with the Center for Pediatric Therapies and the Dan River Autism Awareness 5k planning team.
The World Autism Awareness Day celebration kicks off a series of events throughout the month of April, which is National Autism Awareness Month. Other events include a zumbathon on Thursday, April 14th, 5:30-8pm at the Danville Family YMCA; the 5th Annual Dan River Autism Awareness 5k on Saturday, April 23rd at Anglers Park in Danville; and the 2nd Annual Autism Ride on Saturday, April 23rd starting from Riverside Roof Truss in Danville.
According to the CDC, 1 in 68 children in the US has a diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder. This is an increase from 1 in 110 in 2009.
Kristen Barker, executive director of the Center for Pediatric Therapies, said, “It is our part of our mission at CPT to provide information and support for families in our community. With the rising prevalence of autism, we seek to increase the awareness of the signs of autism spectrum disorders, not only to prompt families to seek medical guidance, but to also ensure that those with a diagnosis receive acceptance and inclusion from the communities in which they live.”
Saturday’s World Autism Awareness Day will begin at 10am at the Danville Science Center (677 Craghead Street, Danville, VA, 24541). Special activities will run until 2pm, including an autism sensory experience, which will teach participants what it is like to encounter sensory challenges, as someone with autism might experience, through a guided simulation with autism professionals from the Center for Pediatric Therapies.
Participants will be able to create an autism awareness-themed craft to take home to show support for individuals with autism.
At 12pm, participants can enjoy a special showing of a Magic Treehouse movie in the Dome Theater with sensory adjustments, including raised lights and lowered sound. Space is limited to the first 100 individuals.
Participants are also encouraged to explore the Danville Science Center’s exhibits from 10am to 5pm, including the new Design Zone exhibit, the Womack Natural History Collection, Science on a Sphere, Fundamentals of Science, Sproutsville and Oh! Zone.
Saturday’s celebration is open to the public. Those interested in learning more about autism and families including an individual with autism are especially encouraged to attend. Admission is free for Danville Science Center members and $5 for visitors. Admission is always free for children under 3.
Adam Goebel, executive director of the Danville Science Center, said, “The Danville Science Center is honored to be partnering with the Center for Pediatric Therapies and the Autism Awareness 5K to host World Autism Awareness Day 2016. This year’s event has a number of activities planned to not only inform people about the autism spectrum disorder, but also to engage them on a multitude of different levels in hopes of raising the awareness and clarifying perceptions of autism in our region.”
All community members are invited to “go blue” on April 2nd by wearing blue clothing to show support for individuals with autism and to use #goblueon42 in social media posts to help raise autism awareness.
For more information, visit https://danriverautism5k.org or call the Danville Science Center at (434) 791-5160.
This story was originally posted by Tola Adamson on wset.com.