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OHEL Children's Home and Family Services

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OHEL Bais Ezra Children Enjoy Broadway Show & More on Autism Family Day

New York, NY, February 22, 2018 --( While many were getting ready to watch the Super Bowl on Sunday February 4th, OHEL Bais Ezra was bringing the joy of theater to over 100 individuals diagnosed with Autism and their families, at a special showing of the hit musical Wicked on Broadway.

This program was made possible thanks to generous funding received from the NY City Council and The Department of Mental Health and Mental Hygiene and coordinated under the auspices of the Theater Development Fund (TDF). The TDF sponsors the Autism Theater Initiative, which develops autism-friendly shows for those diagnosed on the spectrum.

Along with the OHEL Bais Ezra staff, TDF staff provided any necessary assistance to individuals and families, to help ensure a most enjoyable experience for all.

With the music playing a bit quieter than usual, and the theater allowing people to walk around during the show, and tolerating more noise than usual, the show began. Families were mesmerized by the experience, being at a show with their families and having the opportunity to do what many families do all the time– have a family outing together, going to a community based event.

After a delicious lunch, everyone received custom headphones, anxiety relief toys, hats, bags, and more to ensure everyone was able to enjoy the show in its entirety.

OHEL Bais Ezra Area Coordinator, Alyse Appelbaum added, “For many families it’s a rare occasion to go to a Broadway show, especially for those with a family member with an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis who may have a difficult time sitting still, or being quiet for an entire Broadway show. Watching the families get a day to feel like any other family at a Broadway show, and not being judged by those around them or having to worry what their family member is doing was such an amazing experience.”

One parent summarized the day; “It was a dream come true! I don’t really go out with my son often and this was unbelievable, from the lunch to the transportation to the bags I didn’t have to worry about a thing.”
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OHEL Children's Home and Family Services
Sharon Mikhli / Derek Saker

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