Here’s Where we share resources for special needs children and those on the autism spectrum. We look for useful tools, interesting programs, special events and more.

Your feedback and contributions are welcome.

Film Festival: New York

ReelAbilities Film Festival: New York

This is the largest festival in the country dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of the lives, stories and artistic expressions of people with different abilities. The weeklong festival is renowned for its wide-ranging international film selection, riveting conversations, and performances, presented annually in dozens of venues across the New York metropolitan area. All venues are wheelchair accessible.

The festival takes place April 2 - 9, 2019.

“This year is not only our largest festival, but also our most accessible to date as we continue to raise the bar on inclusive forms of film presentation,” says Isaac Zablocki, director and co-founder of the festival.

“The themes of the films are more diverse than ever and the high level of storytelling makes these films relatable to everyone, with or without a disability.”

Ongoing Museum Programs for Children on the Spectrum

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Whitney Museum

  • The Whitney invites families and caregivers with kids on the autism spectrum to join in sensory-friendly gallery activities and a hands-on art-making workshop before the Museum opens to the general public. During this drop-in program, families will explore a currWhitney exhibition and create their own art inspired by works on view.

    The next two sessions of this program for kids ages 6 and up are

    Saturday, April 6 and Saturday, June 1, from 9:30 a.m. - 11 a.m. Registration is required.

    Whitney Museum of American Art 99 Gansevoort Street New York, NY 10014

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

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Morning at the Museum for individuals with cognitive and sensory processing disabilities. This program provides early entrance, pre-visit materials for participating families, a gallery scavenger hunt, design activities, and a “take a break” space.

This program is free and for all ages. Pre-Registration Required. To register, email or call 917.809.6732.

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum 2 E. 91st Street New York, NY

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Museum welcomes children and adults on the autism spectrum. The website provides a full page of tips to help plan an enjoyable visit. These include:

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Inclusive Saturdays

CMA’s Inclusive Saturday Classes provide a free opportunity for children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder and their family and friends. CMA Teaching Artists are trained in facilitating structured workshops are specifically designed to help children with autism develop social skills, creative problem-solving, and expression through art. The program’s supportive environment also helps strengthen family ties and builds a sense of community for families affected by autism.

Ages 2-7

In these workshops, children and their families and caregivers explore different art mediums. This class focuses on sensory experiences while building motor skills, self-regulated independence and social skills. Families also participate in music, and movement exercises.

Ages 7 -15

These workshops use art and technology to build peer-to-peer relationships and digital storytelling skills. Families look closely at an exhibiting artwork for inspiration for their collaborative film. Students incorporate a variety of animation and sound techniques while exploring various art mediums.

Workshops are held from 9:30 to 10:45 a.m. Registration information is here.

Children's Museum of the Arts 103 Charlton St. NYC 212.274.0986

Brooklyn Children’s Museum Sensory Room

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The Sensory Room is an inclusive space where children of all abilities can engage with their peers and explore their senses. Sessions in the space are balanced between self-guided exploration of the space and a facilitated program by one of BCM’s Educators. The program might include story time, a song session, parachute play, or meeting one of the Museum’s live animals.

This room was created with an advisory committee of scholars and professionals with experience serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). All are welcome in this space, please let the Educator present know if your child has particular needs or sensitivities.

Sessions are be offered 2:00-2:30pm, 2:45-3:15pm, 3:30pm-4:00pm, 4:15pm-4:45pm. Space is limited to 10 children and their caregivers for each session, first come, first served.

Brooklyn Children's Museum 145 Brooklyn Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11213