Spotlight: The Segerstrom Center of the Arts

April 22, 2015
(Arizona at a performance of Mary Poppins, for the 25 minutes we lasted!)

The Segerstrom Center of the Arts
located in Orange County (Southern California), has just announced that it will start offering sensory friendly versions of some of its Family Series performances during their 2015-2016 season. These performances were specifically created to accommodate children on the autism spectrum.

This is such exciting news to me! To this day, Arizona has a hard time sitting through a movie theater experience, let alone live theater. My one and only experience taking Arizona to see a live performance was a few years ago for Mary Poppins, the musical. I figured she was ready. The story line seemed kid friendly and interesting enough and the music and dancing was sure to keep her engaged.

Unfortunately, it was still too overwhelming for Arizona. About 20 minutes in, the lights and sounds of the show were starting to get to her. I could feel her starting to get restless and wanting to move her body around (a self-regulation technique). As I was trying to soothe her with my words, she became increasingly frustrated and aggravated with having to sit still. She started yelling, “Get me OUT OF HERE!” Her outbursts continued to escalate as I took her out of the theater (middle row seats were NOT helpful).

Either way, I’m looking forward to attending a show created specifically for sensory kids like mine.

Here are some of the upcoming sensory-friendly performances on the calendar :

October 31, 2015 : “Room on the Broom”

March 5, 2016 : “Big Bad Wolf”

March 19, 2016 : “Egg”

Please click here to read the full announcement from Segerstrom.

What have your experiences been with taking your children to plays / movies / live performances? What has been helpful in ensuring a sensory-successful outing?

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