Music to Everyone's Ears: NC Symphony Hosts Sensory-Friendly Concert
image: Easterseals UCP
For some families with children living with autism and sensory challenges, leaving the house can be a difficult experience.
Hoping to provide those families with an outing designed to take those challenges into consideration, Easterseals and the NC Symphony partnered this year to create a musical event for all families called the Sensory-Friendly NC Symphony Concert.
Last weekend parents and their children with a wide range of diagnosis and challenges filled the concert hall. Prior to the concert J.J. Hamilton, Easterseals UCP Lead Board Certified Behavior Analyst, met with 40 volunteers and held an interactive training on what to expect and how to address behaviors.
“I explained that children may not have an appropriate reaction to the concert," Hamilton said she explained before the concert. "They may scream and hold their ears but that may be their way to adjust the sensory input.”
Children were free to walk around, make noise and be themselves. The NC Symphony dimmed the lights, provided quiet rooms and an instrument zoo for children.
“We want to make an impact on the community. Often families feel like their kids living with disabilities must be hidden away and aren’t accepted in public places. It was nice to be part of this concert and bring families to together outside the home,” Hamilton said.
The NC Symphony and the team of sponsors said they considered the first concert a success, and plan to schedule another sensory-friendly concert next year.