Growing up in Massachusetts, I’ve been able to attend Blue Man Group many times. Each time I mention how unfortunate it is that my children have sensory issues, as they would LOVE the show. A few months ago, my mom stumble on information for an “autism friendly” version of the show. Although neither of my children are on the spectrum, the each have slight sensory issues. Arielle he a hard time with loud noises, and Jacen and childhood anxiety that usually prevents him from going into dark and loud places- like theaters. Even run of the mill movies can be difficult. I did my research first, and couldn’t believe everything the Charles Playhouse had to offer to make it an enjoyable experience!
First, there was a letter (written by a child) that outlined step by step what the kids could expect. Jacen read the letter to Arielle, and knew ahead of time what it would be like getting into the building, finding the bathrooms, playing games in the lobby, finding “quiet rooms” in case they needed a sensory break, strobe light and volume explanations and warnings, and extra time to meet the blue men after the show for kids who are slow to warm up to strangers. Jacen especially appreciated the warning that “the lights go out several times throughout the show, but it is part of an act and they will ALWAYS come back on.”
We not only survived the show- without any meltdowns- we all ENJOYED ourselves. The kids opted for noise reducing headphones and booster seats- both complimentary through the theater. For the first time ever, they both made it though the entire show without needing to exit the theater for a sensory break.
We all absolutely LOVED it. They immediately asked to return next year. It’s one of the more expensive things we completed on our bucket list, but 100% worth every penny.
We drove 30 minutes to a new playground, just for jacen to fall asleep on the drive and refuse to wake up to play. We decided to let him sleep and started to drive home. When he finally woke up he was devestated he had missed the playground, so we opted for one that was very close to home. It’s one of Jacen’s least favorite playgrounds because there isn’t much shade and the equipment gets very hot in the summer- but it works in a pinch!