Chef Chase

This is a budding chef named Chase Bailey. He’s a 13-year old based in California and host of his own cooking show on YouTube. Chase was diagnosed with autism at 2-years-old and his mom, Mary, was given some tough warnings at that time about Chase’s future – he may never get a job, learn to socialize or lead an independent life.  One of the things Chase struggled with early on was eating—like many on the spectrum, the various textures, smells and tastes were overwhelming for him. He stuck with a basic diet of pizza, chicken, french fries, cookies and chips.

That all changed, though, when he started watching cooking shows with his grandfather. He, as explained here, got hooked on watching people enjoy the food they were eating and then asked to start trying some of the food he was seeing on TV. Among his early requests – fried alligator and frog legs.

This discovery of food led to the creation of “Chase ‘N Yur Face” on YouTube, where you can watch Chase cook up all sorts of culinary treats (and get visits from other chefs!)

It’s a great story and good reminder of the importance of finding inspiration and something you connect with – no matter what it may be, and no matter how big or small it is – because it was brings out the best in us.

Check out

Lynsey, Community Manager

Spotlight On…Seattle Children’s Museum

Seattle Children's Museum

Our ‘Spotlight On’ series features regional programs and activities in the arts and entertainment that have been designed for those touched by autism.

If you are in or around the Seattle area, you may be interested to know that the Seattle Children’s Museum hosts sensory-sensitivity hours the first Saturday of every month. During these events, the museum makes adjustments to accommodate those that may benefit from a quieter environment, such as children touched by autism – doing so by dimming lights and sounds.

The museum stretches more than 22,000 square feet and is designed for kids 10 and under to enjoy with their families. The exhibits available to children at the museum are focused on exploratory play.

For the sensory-sensitivity hours, the museum opens at 8:30 a.m. at a reduced rate of $3.00/ person. Tickets must be pre-purchased through its website.

Lynsey, Community Manager 

Spotlight On…The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire

Children's Museum of NH

Our ‘Spotlight On’ series features regional programs and activities in the arts and entertainment that have been designed for those touched by autism.

For our readers in the Dover, NH area, you may be happy to hear that the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire will be picking its Exploring Our Way program back up again in October.

For those of you not familiar with this program, on the second Sunday of each month (October 13, 2013 – June 8, 2014) from 10 a.m. – noon, the museum offers free admission to families with children who have autism.  It allows families to explore the museum in a safe environment, parents to network with one another and help familiar discover new resources available to them.

The museum offers resources online that you can also review in advance to prep your child for their visit – walking through what they might see/hear and do!

Lynsey, Community Manager 

Spotlight On…Sensory-Friendly Films

Sensory Friendly Films

Our ‘Spotlight On’ series features regional programs and activities in the arts and entertainment that have been designed for those touched by autism.

Attention movie lovers — AMC is offering sensory-friendly films for families touched by autism on a monthly basis in select communities all over the country. At the sensory-friendly showings, the auditoriums have their lights turned up, the sound turned down and the audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing (whatever goes!)

The idea for the program came from a parent of an autistic child in Columbia, MD, who had requested a special screening at their local AMC — and more than 300 children and parents attended that first screening.

So it may be time for a great movie night out for the entire family! To check out participating theatres and show dates, check out this site.

Lynsey, Community Manager

Spotlight On…Children’s Museum of Houston

Children's Museum of Houston

Our ‘Spotlight On’ series features regional programs and activities in the arts and entertainment that have been designed for those touched by autism.

Houston-area residents (or visitors) – the Children’s Museum of Houston offers semi-annual Sensory Friendly Days for children with autism – allowing them to explore the museum in their own way and in their own time!

These events provide a comfortable and protected environment for children and allow parents to make connections with other families. Doors are closed to the general public, lights are turned down, extra sounds are limited and distracting motions are stopped. Plus, extra signage is added to help visitors determine things not to climb on.

The next Sensory Friendly Day is scheduled for October 14, 2013, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. For more information and/or to register, visit the museum’s website.

Lynsey, Community Manager 

Coming to Broadway

BroadwayWe’re happy to share that the Theatre Development Fund (TDF) is gearing up for a slate of autism-friendly performances of popular Broadway shows this fall, which will include Disney’s The Lion King, Spider-man Turn Off The Dark and Wicked. This is part of TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative, a program to make theatre accessible to children and adults with autism as well as their families.

The program launched back in 2011 with a showing of The Lion King, and it was so successful that more shows were added — and it also demonstrated the need for other theatres around the country to develop similar initiatives to offer autism-friendly performances.

To help make it a more comfortable environment for audience members, slight adjustments to the production are made, including the reduction of any jarring sounds or strobe lights. There are also quiet and activity areas in the lobby for those who need to leave their seats during the performances.

It’s a great opportunity to get out and enjoy the magic that these shows have to offer. Check out dates/times below, and for ticket information, click here.

  • Sunday, Sept. 29 (1 p.m.) – Disney’s The Lion KingMinskoff Theatre (**Tickets available now**)
  • Saturday, Nov. 16 (2 p.m.) – Spider-man Turn Off The DarkThe Foxwoods
  • Sunday, March 2, 2014 (1 p.m.) – WickedGershwin Theatre

Lynsey, Community Manager 

Spotlight On…Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art

Our ‘Spotlight On’ series features regional programs and activities in the arts and entertainment that have been designed for those touched by autism.

For those of you in the Dallas area, the Dallas Museum of Art hosts regular “Autism Awareness Family Celebrations,” which provide a safe and comfortable way to see all the great exhibits the museum has to offer. On selected days, families can visit the museum free of charge and enjoy its Center for Creative Connections before the museum opens to the public.

While there, families can participate in staff-led gallery experiences, enjoy an interactive musical performance and create a work of art in the studio. Plus, children have the chance to relax with occupational therapy students in its Quiet Sensory Room and explore textures in the Young Learners Gallery. (Families are always invited to stay once the museum opens at 11 a.m. for the public for additional fun.)

The Autism Awareness Family Celebrations are offered throughout the year. Check the museum’s website for details about the next event.

Have you attended one of these events? If so, share your experience with us below!

Lynsey, Community Manager 

Spotlight On…Artful Adventures at MFA

MFA Boston

MFA Boston

For those of you in the Boston area, or maybe those visiting this summer, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston offers a “Beyond the Spectrum” program, which features its Artful Adventures class. The program is designed for children ages 8-12 with autism and combines gallery exploration with an art-making activity.

Through this class, participating children can connect with art and cultures of Asia, Europe and the Americas. The Beyond the Spectrum program meets one Saturday per month — each visit lasts an hour and a half (10:30 am – 12 pm). You can sign up online, with the next meeting time of July 6. The cost is $9.50 per child, which includes materials, museum admission and one adult ticket.

If you have participated in this program at Boston MFA, please share your feedback here with us!

Lynsey, Community Manager