‘Sensory Friendly Morning’ at Maritime Aquarium on Sunday, Sept 10

Maritime Aquarium 5-3-16

Maritime Aquarium/Maritime Aquarium

Image from Maritime Aquarium

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For some, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a place with too many stimuli. So this Sunday, Sept. 10, the Aquarium is planning a special morning to give guests with sensory-processing differences a fun, comfortable and accepting environment.

During the “Sensory-Friendly Morning,” from 8 a.m. to 12 noon, lights in the Aquarium will be lower, and music and other sounds will be turned down or off.

The Aquarium also will show a specially selected IMAX movie with lower volume and the theater lights less dim.

Director of Education Tom Naiman noted that the first half of the “Sensory-Friendly Morning” — between 8 and 10 a.m. — occurs prior to the Maritime Aquarium’s normal opening time.

The advantages of that, he said, are twofold: Aquarium staff can focus on special-needs guests, and special-needs guests averse to crowds will be less likely to encounter them.

Maritime Aquarium 5-3-16

Maritime Aquarium / Maritime Aquarium

Image from Maritime Aquarium

In the Aquarium’s IMAX Theater, the 40-minute movies “Dolphins” (9 a.m.) and “Born to Be Wild” (10 a.m.) will be shown with the volume lowered and the theater lights dimmed less than usual. (One IMAX movie is free with Aquarium admission.)

Also, a special low-volume seal-training demonstration is planned for 8:30 a.m. Please note that the regular 11:45 a.m. seal-training demonstration on Sept. 10 will be delayed until noon.

A “quiet room” will be available for guests that need a space to calm. For families that need to leave within the first 30 minutes of arrival, passes will be available to come back and try again another day.

The Maritime Aquarium’s “Sensory-Friendly Mornings” are offered several times a year, after being designed with input from staff members with special-needs children and siblings, and from Easter Seals of Coastal Fairfield County.

Training of Aquarium staff and volunteers was conducted by Cooperative Educational Services in Trumbull (CES).

Normal admission prices apply on “Sensory-Friendly Mornings”: $22.95 for adults; $20.95 for youths (ages 13 to 17) & seniors (age 65 and above); and $15.95 for ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 are free.

For more details about the Maritime Aquarium’s exhibits, IMAX movies and programs this fall, call (203) 852-0700 or go to the aquarium website.

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