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Sensory friendly activities and apps for children with autism

Racers team up to raise funds for Autism Speaks   NASCAR in Dover, Delaware, June 1, 2014 Sprint Cup fund raiser for Autism Speaks
Racers team up to raise funds for Autism Speaks NASCAR in Dover, Delaware, June 1, 2014 Sprint Cup fund raiser for Autism Speaks
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Parents who have a child with a learning or behavior disability on the autism spectrum know that social activities can be a challenge for a child when the noise level is high or the crowd of people is overwhelming when attending an activity. Coping skills are often nonexistent, and parents can experience as much frustration as the child when an activity or event becomes too much for the child. Sensory - friendly activities that control the noise level and limit the number of participants are very helpful to parents who are looking for fun activities for their child. Lights and sounds that are pleasing to children who are sensory challenged are great points to consider when looking for an activity.

Autism awareness
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Face Autism in Sarasota sponsors sensory - friendly activities throughout the year, and there will be three events in the month of July that parents who have a child with a diagnosis of autism will want to attend for summer fun.

*Free sensory-friendly roller skating will be sponsored by Face Autism at the Stardust Skating Rink in Sarasota on July 12 from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Skate rental is also free with a $3 charge for inline skates. Siblings are welcome for a family-friendly summer activity. The Stardust Skating Rink is located at 2571 12th Street in Sarasota. you may call 813-240-3044 for more information. You may also log on at

*A free sensory-free movie will be sponsored by Face Autism on July 19 at Burns Court, 506 Burns Lane, at 10 a.m. Snacks will be available for purchase.

*Free Bowling for children with autism will be sponsored by Face Autism on July 26 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. You always think of bowling as very noisy and sometimes crowded, and children who have a diagnosis of autism are rarely introduced to this fun sport. Parents will want to bring their child to participate and learn to bowl in the prepared sensory-friendly environment. Shoe rental will be free. The bowling will be offered at AMF Gulf Gate, located at 7221 S. Tamiami Trail in Sarasota. Siblings are also welcome for a family-friendly activity.

Parents with a diagnosis of autism often need a tool for calming a child who is overwhelmed by noise, crowds, or other triggers. Live 2 Learn Differently LLC is a company that develops apps that parents will want to explore if you have a child with autism. Their newest app is designed to calm an overwhelming situation. "Waterfall" has been created with wonderful waterfall sounds and vibrations to help with calming. Check out this app and the other apps at The company was started by a dad with a child who has a diagnosis of autism. The company is here to help with great tools that are both child-friendly and parent-friendly.

Check out the slideshow with great photos of the 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup benefiting Autism Speaks.

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