ROTTERDAM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – According to the American Medical Association, one in six children has some form of a sensory issue, which is only higher for those on the autism spectrum. So, on Sunday, dozens of families took advantage of the free Autism Acceptance Day event at Via Aquarium in Rotterdam.
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara organized Autism Acceptance Day at the aquarium to help create more activities that promote understanding and acceptance.
“We have more today than we had years ago,” Assemblyman Santabarbara said. “By doing these events, by working with the community, by partnering up…we’re seeing that other organizations are also inspired to do the same thing.”
And that’s why many families, like the Santiago family, stopped by. Luis Santiago brought his son Sebastian, who is on the spectrum.
“He loves the yellow fish; that’s why we’re here,” he said. “I really love it. Especially for my son.”
Sebastian was one of the many kids who were able to splash around and learn more about sea life… with zero judgment. and many families, like the Sanderson family. Douglas Sanderson said he appreciated that they could explore the aquarium at their own pace.
“They do need a lot more programs for kids with autism,” he said. “It is hard to find programs for kids on the spectrum.”
And these families hope more community partnerships can be created… to help celebrate the unique strengths within the autism community.