World Autism Awareness Week kicks off tomorrow – and we’ve got plenty of ways for you to mark it.
There are a whole host of nearby attractions that do autism-friendly days.
Here’s five of the best near Coventry and Warwickshire that you and your family could try out.
Let us know in the comments at the bottom of the story if you’ve got any other suggestions.
All Aboard for Autism
The Autism Society’s short Thomas & Friends themed sponsored walk. Perfect for families and Thomas enthusiasts alike, it takes place on September 23 in Staffordshire.
The annual walk is completely autism-friendly with fun activities and games for all the family. Thomas fans will have the opportunity to meet the Fat Controller who will be leading a warm up and sing-a-long session ahead of the walk.
What’s more, Drayton Manor Park has teamed up with the NAS to provide train’ng for all Thomas Land staff, developing their understanding of the needs of those on the autism spectrum so all visitors can relax in the knowledge that staff have an understanding of autism.
The sponsored walk follows the highly successful “quiet hour” which took place in Thomas Land in July, the first of its kind at a theme park in the UK.
CBeebies Land at Alton Towers
A total of 250 cinemas are hosting dedicated autism friendly cinema screenings this month right across the UK in partnership with Dimensions, a national not-for-profit support provider for people with learning disabilities and autism.
Coventry is also getting involved, with a string of screenings across the city in March – and into April.
Cineworld cinemas show their autism friendly screening on the first Sunday of every month.
Their next showing is Peter Rabbit on Sunday April 1 at 11am.
Showcase cinemas show their autism friendly screening on the second Sunday of every month.
ODEON cinemas show their autism friendly screening on a different Sunday each month.
ODEON cinemas also show an additional screening for older audiences one Monday a month.
Vue cinemas show their autism friendly screening on the last Sunday of every month.
The park offers special discount rates for up to three helpers of guests with a disability. Guests with a disability pay the full rate, but may be eligible for a Ride Access Pass which gives specific times for each ride. Please note that proof of disability will be required. Please see the ‘FAQs and accessibility’ section of Alton Towers’ website for more information.
Drayton Manor Theme Park
It features rides, a zoo and Thomas Land, where children can go on the Thomas the Tank Engine ride. A parent recommends Drayton Manor as, with proof of disability their son with Asperger syndrome and friends did not have to wait in long queues. They have information for guests with additional needs.
Birmingham’s science museum. It offers concessionary prices for people in receipt of benefits – evidence is required. The museum can provide workshops for groups of people with learning disabilities, and has also produced a downloadable social story for visitors. Please see the ‘Accessibility’ section of their website for more information.