Families looking to take their children on a fun-filled holiday to Florida will be excited to learn that SeaWorld Orlando has become a Certified Autism Centre along with two other Orlando parks, Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cave.

Mark Pauls, president of SeaWorld Orlando, said: “We are incredibly proud to be the first family of Orlando theme parks to achieve these certifications.

An image of a sign at SeaWorld Orlando which features a sensory guide in the shape of a jigsaw“We want to create lasting memories for all our guests. As families start planning their summer travel, the resources and tools that our parks now offer can provide peace of mind for families with members that have autism and other special needs. Our parks and staff are now equipped to offer families inclusive activities, helping to ensure meaningful experiences for everyone.”

The park announced the change on World Autism Day, following the certification of sister park Sesame Place in 2018. As a certified autism centre, SeaWorld Orlando has provided its team with expert training allowing them to interact with and help autistic people in a way that is comfortable for them. This includes training in areas of sensory awareness, environment, communication, motor and social skills, program development and emotional awareness. Employees now take an autism competency exam every two years to ensure their skills are up to standard.

SeaWorld Orlando has also made changes to its website, making it easier for autistic people and their families to plan their visit with a sensory guide, which alerts those planning a trip to the park to how different attractions may affect their child’s sensory needs.

Kerry Magro, a member of the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, who award the certification and autistic person, said: “To see SeaWorld Orlando continue to want to make an impact and be a leader in the industry and in the autism community is wonderful. We need more groups like them.”

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