Broadway Becomes Autism Friendly

Every Kid Needs a Great Broadway Show

Special Ed teachers throughout the New York City area decided that there was a great need for parents and children on the autism spectrum. With a little nudge to the Theatre Development Fund (TDF), an initiative was created to provide “autism friendly” showings to parents and children.

Broadway Lion King discount tickets are not easy to come by. Shows on Broadway can be pricy, and parents of children with autism already have plenty of expenses on their plates. This is where the TDF was able to come in and help out.

Buying out a time slot in the theater, they then would offer the tickets to parents at about 35% off. This took a significant hit off the price, and gave the parents the peace of mind they needed to take their child out to Times Square.

Why The Exclusive Show?

Those unfamiliar with autism spectral disorders may find it strange that a whole theater would need to be bought out in order to accommodate these children. But there are genuine reasons and legitimate concerns as to why.

First of all, autism disorders are more common than many may expect. In fact, one out of 88 children have it. And more times than not you’ll see it in boys.

Autism disorders effect many aspects of an individual, all center around how they process sensory input and how they translate that into communicating with their environment. This is where some exclusivity can come in.

When out on the town, and especially in a place like Times Square, the sensory overload can be more than a child can handle. Their reactions can range from a complete shutdown to shouts and what would seem to be tantrums. These reactions can cause both the child and family embarrassment and struggles with being in public as people will often point or stare.

You can imagine how intense a fantastic and amazing show like The Lion King could have the potential to overwhelm a young one on the spectrum. When the whole theater is catering to these young ones, however, a safe environment is created for them not to be afraid to get up and walk around and deal with their restlessness should the need arise.

At these special shows, which will also be extending to some Mary Poppins performances, some special adjustments are made. House lights are left slightly up so that the children are not afraid in the dark. Another small tweak is the volume of sound. Turning it down just a bit helps the kids be able to enjoy within their comfort zone.

The first run of this sort of “autism friendly” performance was a definite success, both from the view of the audience as well as the cast. Some cast members made the comment that they felt that the audience was definitely with them.

Image Credit: er_gurpreet

Derek is an active education blogger. When he is not blogging he helps out a special needs class during the weekdays. The following article is for broadway lion king discount tickets.

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