Ohio State Fair will have sensory-friendly morning for people with autism and special sensory needs

Ohio State Fair will have sensory-friendly morning for people with autism and special sensory needs
© WDTN

The Ohio State Fair will host a sensory-friendly morning to accommodate autistic people or those with special sensory needs, WDTN reported.

For a few hours on July 31, fair attendees can go on rides without flashing lights and loud music.

If needed, people can also go into an available quiet, air-conditioned room with activities to support sensory needs, the outlet reported.

“If you are overwhelmed and need a break, you can go in the quiet room,” Shawn Henry, executive director of the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence, told WDTN. “We’ll have fidgets and other items just to make the environment something that’s inviting, that’s relaxing, then, you can go back out and enjoy other activities.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The event is a first of its kind, Henry said, adding that the state fair is “blazing a trail” that he hopes spurs similar events nationwide.

Henry’s organization has also created a social narrative — which “provide[s] a story to describe a social situation supporting learners with socially appropriate responses and strategies to regulate their behaviors,” according to its website — for people to access before attending the fair.

Along with the social narrative, the group also created an empty schedule to help fair-goers plan their time at the fair.

The Ohio State Fair runs from July 24 to August 4.