Autism Early Open: Mom Says, “We’ll Be Back!”

by | Aug 6, 2015

“It’s going to help them with their behaviors,” says Lynnwood mom Sherry Martin who brought her two active boys, ages 3 and 4, to last month’s Exploration for All: Autism Early Open, presented by Safeco Insurance. The youngsters loved the dinosaurs.  Martin loved the mellow vibe and caring staff.

Since Martin is a stay-at-home mom, she appreciates a change of scenery and looks for opportunities to take her boys out. “They can play at home, but they’d rather get out.” Yet most large public places are a challenge. “When I say: Stay close to me, they don’t always,” Martin says.

Her older son is on the autism spectrum and both boys have delayed speech. Sometimes, in a large public setting, she says, they can get rambunctious and run away from Martin if she takes her eyes off them for even a moment. “(My son) doesn’t talk much. What if he did get away from me and he couldn’t tell anyone who he was?” That’s Martin’s biggest fear.

When she heard about Pacific Science Center’s Autism Early Open, she decided to give it a try. It would be a chance for her young sons to experience exhibits without heavy crowds–and with softened lighting, less noise and a special quiet area set aside for families to take a break. They’d be among staff and other families who would understand if her boys ran around.

“It was awesome,” Martin says. “There was a lot of staff on hand, so I felt comfortable” the boys wouldn’t get lost if they ran off. “Every time I turned around, there was staff there!  It made me feel extra good about being there.”

And Martin’s boys felt good about the Science Center too, engaging for an astonishing 90 minutes with the dinosaurs, Saltwater Tide Pool, Just For Tots area and giant suspended globe, Science On a Sphere.

“I was really surprised that my oldest son was interested in everything and spent a long time looking at everything, an interest he doesn’t show at home,” Martin says. “We’ll definitely go back every month. It’s the perfect way to work with them on their behaviors in a new environment.”

We look forward to welcoming Sherry Martin and her boys to the next Exploration for All: Autism Early Open, presented by Safeco Insurance, on Feb. 14. We’re proud to host this special event for families with children on the autism spectrum every month in 2015, usually on the second Saturday.