Resources for Visitors with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental, Sensory & Learning Differences

The Children’s Museum of Cleveland is very excited to welcome everyone to our new home on Euclid Avenue. To help make your visit as enjoyable and engaging as possible, we have partnered with Monarch Center for Autism’s Welcoming Spaces Program to develop customized visual, social, communicative, sensory, and behavioral supports. You will find these supports throughout the museum – from our ticket desk toolkits and call-ahead accommodations, to our sensory friendly room, social narratives, visual schedules, visual/sensory maps, video models, and more. We hope to prepare you before, during and after your visit, so you leave feeling happy, successful, and eager to return.

Below are tips and resources we suggest you review and download prior to your visit:

Call-Ahead Accommodations

  • If you are planning a visit with a child who has special needs, and you want to avoid waiting in line at the ticketing desk, please call 216-791-7114.
  • A member of our team will meet you in the lobby with tickets and visual/sensory supports designed to enhance your child’s experience at the museum.

Admission & Re-Entry:

  • Museum tickets cost $12 for children and adults, and they are only available for sale at the museum.
  • If you need to take a break and leave the building, please go to the Ticketing Desk and ask for a sticker, which will enable you to return free of charge on the same day.

Ticket Desk Toolkits  

  • Upon request, we have noise canceling headphones, sensory toys, visual supports, and a survey available at our ticketing desk, designed to enhance your child’s museum experience.
  • The headphones and sensory toys must be returned prior to your departure. Some of the visual supports are yours to keep, and the survey can be completed on-site, online or returned via postal mail.

Sensory Friendly Room  

  • If your child needs a break during his/her museum visit, there is a sensory friendly room located on level one, across from “Arts and Parts.”
  • This quieter room contains special lighting, classical music, a bean bag chair, a tent, and other sensory equipment including liquid tile mats, a body sock, weighted blanket, tactile wall, slinky pop tube, LED magic flashing ball wand, Tangle Jr., a Koosh ball, and more.

Social Narratives 

  • This social narrative, replete with visual supports, will help familiarize your child with museum exhibits, rules, spaces, and helpers.
  • We recommend you download, print and read it with your child before you visit.

Make Your Own Visual Schedules

  • This make your own visual schedule template contains picture cards that represent each area of the museum, along with a blank schedule template.
  • We recommend you download, print, cut, and assemble the picture cards so you can design your own visual schedule before you visit.

Sample Visual Schedules

Video Models

  • This video model provides a step-by-step visual and audio explanation of how to appropriately interact with one of the water tables in the Wonder Lab.

Survey

  • We’d love to hear about your visit to the museum, including whether or not our visual/sensory supports enhanced your child’s experience. Please spend a few minutes taking our brief online survey.

Contact Us

  • Please feel free to contact us at 216-791-7114 or info@CMCleveland.org with any questions, suggestions or concerns.

Monarch Center for Autism’s Welcoming Spaces Program

These resources were created in partnership with Monarch Center for Autism’s Welcoming Spaces Program. Their professional staff work with families and community-based organizations (museums, restaurants, shopping malls, sporting/concert venues, theaters, medical offices, airports, hotels, travel destinations, recreation facilities, schools, daycare centers, and more) to:

  • Evaluate spaces and make sensory and visual support recommendations
  • Design customized sensory rooms
  • Develop customized visual, social, communicative, sensory, and behavioral supports
  • Assemble personalized “grab-and-go community toolkits” (e.g., sensory toys, noise canceling devices, timers, visual supports)
  • Deliver autism-specific sensitivity training to employees
  • Develop marketing and communications materials (e.g., web copy, press releases, social media posts) to announce and promote the use of autism-friendly accommodations
  • Facilitate “pilot/test visits” for individuals with autism, administer surveys, and track data to demonstrate the benefits of autism-friendly accommodations

For more information, please visit www.monarchcenterforuatism.org or call 216-320-8945.