Sesame Place becomes 1st theme park designated as Certified Autism Center

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Sesame Place spokesperson Dana Ryan (along with Oscar and Elmo) explain why the park is a Certified Autism Center. (Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock)

Sesame Place is the first theme park in the world to receive a very important distinction.

More than 80 percent of the staff at the theme park in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, has completed autism sensitivity and awareness training. The completion designates Sesame Place as a Certified Autism Center.

"As the first theme park in the world to complete the training and become a CAC, Sesame Place is better equipped to offer families inclusive activities for children with autism and other special needs," Sesame Place park president Cathy Valeriano said in a statement.

The park's website will have a sensory guide to show parents how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense for each attraction, said Dana Ryan, a Sesame Place spokesperson.

"If (your child) is especially sensitive to loud noises or whatever the case may be, it will be a lot easier to plot out where you can go, where it will be really enjoyable," she said.

The park has also designated two quiet rooms with adjustable lighting and comfortable seating for guests in need of quiet time and relief from sensory stimulation.

Ryan said Sesame Place hopes to set an example for other theme parks.

"One in 687 children are now diagnosed with autism, so it's really becoming something that everyone has to come in contact with," she said.
Sesame Place opens for its 38th season on April 28.

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The newest resident on "Sesame Street" has orange hair and autism.


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