Sensory-friendly browsing time planned
ThisWeek Community Newspapers - 1/18/2018
For a person with autism spectrum disorder, many of the activities we take for granted -- like a trip to the library -- can be challenging.
The large crowds, loud and unfamiliar noises, plus lots of distractions and things to touch, can be overwhelming.
Library visits should be fun and stress-free, and Worthington Libraries wants to help by providing a safe, accommodating space.
An autism-friendly browsing hour will be held Sunday, Jan. 21, at Old Worthington Library, 820 High St. It is presented in partnership with the Autism Society of Central Ohio.
From noon to 1 p.m., one hour before the library opens to the public, children and adults on the autism spectrum are encouraged to stop by and enjoy a calmer environment and smaller crowds. A short story time starts at 12:30 p.m. in the children's department.
Autism spectrum disorder is a complex developmental disability typically appearing during childhood and affecting a person's ability to communicate and interact with others. According to the national Autism Society, more than 3.5 million Americans live with the disorder.
A 2016 report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded that the prevalence of autism had risen to one in every 68 births in the United States.
Now a number of community gathering places, like libraries and even movie theaters and Major League Baseball teams, offer sensory-friendly events, at which accommodations include dimming lights, lowering speaker volume and making quiet rooms available.
If you have questions about Worthington Libraries' autism-friendly browsing hour, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hillary Kline is a communications specialist for Worthington Libraries.