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Science in play

Children testing the exhibit ahead of Sciensensory Day. Source: Queensland Museum and Sciencentre.

Jessica Hinchcliffe, Queensland Museum’s Sciencentre turns down the lights and volume for children with autism, ABC News, 13 May 2016

Queensland Museum‘s Sciencentre has begun changing its exhibits temporarily to give children with autism the chance to experience science in calm conditions.

Sciensensory Day aims to encourage families that have children with sensory processing difficulties to interact with exhibits in an environment that suits them.

Modifications to lighting and sound have been made to make it a safe space for the families this coming Monday.

Manager Rebekah Collins said they wanted the children to immerse themselves without feeling judged.

“We’ve looked at how to make the place a safe place by limiting numbers that can come to the program and identified nine exhibits that we’ve modified,” she said.

“As well as turning off flashing lights and sound, we’ve created a chill-out space for the families.

“It allows the children to have a rest and then come back out and get hands on with the exhibit.”

Ms Collins said although some exhibits had been altered, the children would still enjoy the full experience of the centre.

“It also gives us the chance to develop relationships with families and to find out the way they would like to engage with the centre,” she said.

“We want to offer different experiences for our diverse audience.”

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Council of Australasian Museum Directors, c/o Ms Daryl Karp, Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House PO Box 3934 Manuka, Australian Capital Territory 2603 Australia, © CAMD 2020
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