PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Children’s Museum in Portsmouth held “A Special Day for Special Needs” event Sunday morning. The museum opened two hours early to give those with special needs a more relaxed environment to play.
“Every few months, we offer a Sunday morning from 9-11 [a.m.], before we open, to the general public for people with special needs, developmental disabilities autistic spectrum,” said Stephen Grunnet, the museum gallery supervisor.
He says they work to make the environment more calm.
“Make things quieter and have a certain theme, and in this case, were focused on art,” he said.
They had ceramic arts, areas where kids can finger paint a photo booth, and caricature drawings.
Robert Hardey brought his family into the museum.
“My son, Connor, has special needs, high functioning autism, which makes it great to come out here because we don’t have as much chaos. We can handle three kids,” Hardey said.
He says he can see a difference in his son when he is in a more relaxed environment.
“He’s less distracted, not as anxious, more open to explore just those things you want your kids to be able to do when they go to a museum. He’s just more open to all of that,” he said.
Grunnet says this is their fifth year holding special needs day programs and they have more events coming up in May.
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