The Colebrookdale Railroad in Boyertown offers a Sensory Friendly Saturday for those with autism and other sensory sensitivities and their families at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 27.
“Even in the best of times, families of and people with Autism often experience uncertainty, distress, and feeling forgotten. Yet, in the midst of a pandemic, these challenges were amplified. The welfare of family members who provide home-care to people with autism must also be considered,” said Michele Barrett, CRPT educational programs director, certified teacher, and autism mom.
“We at the Colebrookdale Railroad want to offer an opportunity for our friends to know that they are not forgotten, but instead that we are doing our best to ensure a safe, comfortable experience for them to enjoy an outing with their loved-ones."
The train will depart from the Boyertown Train Station location at 64 S. Washington St., Boyertown. A small gift will be provided to each child for this special ride.
"We hope a few hours with us on the train helps them create new, positive memories during this challenging time,” said Barrett.
Tips for Riders
Know what to expect before you arrive. Please preview this Social Story video with your child or loved one with sensory sensitivities in advance of this special event. https://youtu.be/CKOiGEL22ZQ
The Quiet Car
Our Parlor Car is designated as The Quiet Car for those who wish to be away from sound and other activities while still enjoying the ride. The Quiet Car will also be a place for any onboard passenger to visit for a moment of calm if necessary. Neither music nor narration will be broadcast in this designated quiet area.
If you or your loved one have sound sensitivities, please bring headphones to block-out sounds that may be overwhelming, including the train's narration; broadcast in the Deluxe Coach, Dining, and Garden Cafe cars. The crossing procedure will be modified to eliminate the horn.
Complimentary coloring books and crayons will be provided to children. Please bring own sensory toy, fidget, or book to read.
"We will do our best to stagger boarding times to alleviate a person's anxiety resulting from waiting in long lines. If you have a weighted blanket or weighted vest – please know that we invite you to bring it with you."
Staff will turn-off or remove artificial air fresheners from areas used during the event. Staff will be requested to refrain from wearing perfume or cologne on the day of the event.
Please bring your sunglasses or a hat if you have light sensitivities. These may be most useful if you visit the open-air car.
"Where possible, we will dim lighting or cover intense lighting in the ceiling with fabric during the event."
The a la carte menu will be available for purchase while on the train.
"We also understand many have special dietary considerations; therefore, an exception has been made. We encourage anyone with food allergies or sensitivities to bring their drinks and snacks."
For more information, please visit www.colebrookdalerailroad.com.