A new series of autism-friendly sessions is starting at Mattel Play! Liverpool this month.
Autistic children and their families are being encouraged to experience the Albert Dock attraction’s interactive world through these after-hours sessions.
The first of these Autism Evenings takes place on Wednesday allowing autistic children to explore and enjoy the attraction during a quieter session with numbers strictly limited.
The family entertainment centre features zones based around the characters of Thomas & Friendsᵀᴹ, Bob the Builderᵀᴹ and Fireman Samᵀᴹ.
While all the characters are popular with autistic children, research from The National Autistic Society has shown that they have a particular affinity with the colourful engines of Thomas & Friends:
“Research shows 57% of children with autism associate with Thomas & Friends over other children’s characters. The bold bright colours and the clear facial expressions make Thomas characters easy to identify and relate to – helping children with autism with communication and play.”
Merseyside charity Autism Together and Liverpool community business Autism Adventures UK are backing the Autism Evenings at Mattel Play! Liverpool.
Chief executive of Autism Together, Robin Bush, said:
“One in every hundred people in the UK has autism and many are excluded from their own communities due to a lack of social understanding.
“Positive moves such as Autism Evenings at Mattel Play! help contribute towards Liverpool becoming a truly autism-friendly city.”
Allan Leech, CEO of Heritage Great Britain, the operator of Mattel Play! Liverpool, commented:
“It gives me great pleasure to launch Autism Evenings at Mattel Play!.
“We’ve decided to create a closed evening session limited to just 100 visitors, rather than our usual 250, and look forward to welcoming autistic children and their families to this quieter and more relaxing experience.
“All staff working at the Autism Evenings have undergone full training and we’re committed to making our attraction autism-friendly.
“For those with autism who wish to attend at other times, we advise coming along at 9am any day of the week for a quieter and more relaxed experience.”
The first session takes place on Wednesday 25 May from 6pm-8pm. Tickets are priced £11 per child with one accompanying carer admitted free of charge up to a maximum of two carers.
More information and ticket bookings are available from the Mattel Play! Liverpool website: www.mattelplayliverpool.com. Further details can be found by visiting Facebook: MPlayLiverpool and Twitter: @MPlayLiverpool