Sesame Place: Certified Autism Center Theme Park

Sesame Place has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), to become the first theme park in the world to be designated as a Certified Autism Center.

What exactly does that mean? It means that Sesame Place, is a safe place for kids with autism and other sensory issues, and they will have the most amazing experience.

sesame place autism

Sesame Place

Located just outside of Philadelphia in Langhorne, PA, Sesame Place has delighted children of all ages for years. It offers a full day of family friendly fun, focused on your favorite friends on Sesame Street. They also host fun seasonal events for the holidays on special weekends.

So how has Sesame Place become the first Certified Autism Theme Park in the United States? Here are eight ways this theme park stands apart from the rest when it comes to Autism friendly fun.

1. Certified Staff

Sesame Place Team Members receive specialized training to ensure they have the requisite knowledge, skills, temperament, and expertise to cater to all children, including those with special needs. There is no need to worry about a team member becoming irritated with your child, because they have the training to get through the situation.

Training focuses include: sensory awareness, motor skills, autism overview, program development, social skills, communication, environment, and emotional awareness.

sesame place

2. IBCCES Sensory Guide™

The IBCCES Sensory Guide provides insight on how a child with sensory processing issues may be affected by each sense for rides and attractions at Sesame Place. Download the Sesame Place Sensory Guide here to get more details.

3. Ride Accessibility Program

The Ride Accessibility Program matches the individual abilities of guests to the requirements of each ride. RAP is designed to allow guests to fully participate in the enjoyment of  Sesame Place while keeping in mind the safety requirements of our rides and attractions. The program was developed based on the requirements of the ride manufacturer and by evaluating the physical and mental attributes required to safely ride each ride.

To enroll in the RAP program, Sesame Place recommends filling out the Ride Accessibility Questionnaire before arrival. No additional documentation is required, simply bring the completed questionnaire to The Welcome Center. Once the form is validated, a personalized list of rides and attractions will be provided for your visit.

4. Ride Accessibility Guide

Ride Accessibility Guide provides an overview of services and facilities available for guests with special needs who are visiting Sesame Place.

5. Quiet Rooms

Guests in need of some quiet time and relief from sensory stimulation can utilize one of the two new quiet rooms near Big Bird’s Rambling River.  These rooms have adjustable lighting and a comfortable seating area for guests to take a break.

6. Noise-Cancelling Headphones

Sesame Place is proud to offer noise-cancelling headphones, WhispEars™, provided by KidCo. Guests with hearing sensitivity may pick up WhispEars™ at The Family Care Center or The Welcome Center. WhispEars™ are available on a first come, first served basis and must be returned to The Family Care Center or The Welcome Center before the end of the day.

sesame place

7. Low Sensory Areas

If you are in need of a more quiet location in the park, you are encouraged to visit the area behind the Sesame Street Neighborhood as well as the area by the Twiddle Bug Tracks next to Ernie’s Teeny Tiny Tidal Wave. While these locations are not designated quiet areas, they are often less populated areas of the park.

8. Low Sensory Parade Viewing

For guests who want to enjoy the parade without direct character interaction such as “hugs” or “high fives” are encouraged to sit closest to where our parade begins and/or several rows back from the parade viewing line.

Lastly, be sure to stop and meet Julia. She is one of the newest friends on Sesame Street, and is a curious 4-year-old with Autism.

sesame place autism

Theme parks can be a scary and confusing place for kids with Autism. I love that Sesame Place saw a need to make their park safe for all kids, and met that need.

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Mom, Writer, Lover of all things Social Media. Trying to make it all happen one day at a time! I'm a city girl stuck in a country world in Maryland. Loves Pugs and Designer Handbags. Hates working out, red wine and slow drivers.

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