When you think of a museum, you picture a calm and serene learning environment, but for a child with autism, jarring noises, bright colors and flashing flights can be frightening.
The Henry Ford Museum and Autism Alliance of Michigan have been working together to provide families with autistic children the same experience as other families.
On their website, Amy, Director of Guest Services at the Henry Ford, describes what parents and children can check out online before they visit.
"Sights, sounds, smells, places that are busy, places that are quiet, so parents can do a schedule before they go and show the child what they will be doing with pictures," said Amy. "Hopefully they have an extra level of comfort."
The staff of the museum, Greenfield Village, IMAX and the Ford Rouge Factory have been trained on how to work with people with autism to give them a better learning experience.
Each member from guest services will have an autism training card on hand at all times.
"This just adds another level of security for those families if they want to come out and have a good day here that they know they can be safe," said Amy. "There are people here who understand their situation and can help them with any need."
Amy also explained that many kids with autism are drawn to trains, whether they are small and in motion or large and parked.
It is only fitting that they will be kicking off their new partnership with the Autism Alliance by hosting Thomas the Tank Engine at Greenfield Village on April 28th.
They are inviting families with autism to attend.