As we gear up for the Stafford County Sheriff's Office disAbility Awareness Day, we want to share some information about the term "sensory-friendly," as our office is proudly assisting the event with a (you guessed it!) sensory-friendly carnival and a quiet room.
So what exactly does it mean to be "sensory-friendly"? For starters, a sensory-friendly event takes into account the five senses and how certain things can contribute to an overload of these senses, and then works to minimize those problematic things! For example, when it comes to the sense of sight, sudden changes in light (flashing/flickering, going from ambient to florescent quickly, etc.) can be upsetting and overwhelming for some children; or with the sense of hearing, keeping the general volume of an event can be beneficial for a child who has a difficult time with loud noises (ie. live music, loud speakers, fire alarms, hand dryers).
With a sensory-friendly event, children will experience a manageable amount of sensory stimuli, which makes them calmer and better able to process the stimuli.
In addition to this, a sensory-friendly event is organized by and equipped with staff who are knowledgable about sensory processing difficulties and Autism, and are able to create and consistently run a structured event to benefit attendees.
Helping Hands, Inc. has been providing our sensory-friendly carnival experience over the years at many different venues to benefit the children of our community. We can't wait to see you again for the SCSO disAbility Awareness Day on Saturday, September 29th, so please be sure to come on out and say hi at Gayle Middle School from 10 AM to 2 PM!