This past weekend, baseball fans all around Syracuse, NY were able to watch their local Mets play live, without the sensory overload.
We were happy to be able to bring Autism Awareness Day back to our community, with the help of our partners at Upstate Medical University. With autistic baseball fans in mind, the game featured low volume throughout the stadium, minimal sound effects and video board displays, and a designated private suite that served as a safe space for families to retreat if the game became overwhelming. The Mets even made sensory-friendly kits available, which included noise reducing headphones and ear plugs, anti-glare glasses, small fidget toys, and other sensory friendly items!
But our favorite part of the day was having players from the Syracuse Challenger’s Baseball League come out to start the game. This Syracuse-based league is the oldest and largest baseball league for adults and children with disabilities in the world. The first Challenger, Zachary, promised us a special pitch and he delivered, with a four-turn windmill wind-up and a curveball! He was followed by his teammate Tommy, who quietly announced that it was time to “play ball!”
Although the Mets didn’t win, we were still happy to spend a day at the field with each other, and plan to promote more autism-friendly events in the area. While we have based our work off our shared belief in helping families find an autism diagnosis, we also think it’s important to enjoy the little things- like a day at the ballpark with your family.
Families in the area can also sign up for our ongoing autism research. If you suspect your child of developmental delay and would like to participate in our study, visit www.quadrantbiosciences.com/autismresearch for more information!