Dining Out with Autism Awareness Restaurant Toolkit
By Shelly McLaughlin
“Dining Out with Autism Awareness Night Toolkit” is a step-by-step guide to encourage restaurants to welcome families of individuals with autism and their families. The kit includes advice for both the individual in approaching restaurants, promoting a dining out event, tips for serving individuals with autism, and suggestions such as reduced background music (to accommodate sensory integration issues) and a quiet area in case of need.
“Events like this mean a lot to families with a loved one with autism,” says Dawn Koplos. “Sometimes the simplest of tasks can be extremely challenging for our families. They may opt not to try new places for fear of their child’s reaction to an unknown environment or the response from other patrons. We are grateful to both of these restaurants for their consideration.”
Pathfinders for Autism also offers free training (and will visit Maryland restaurants in advance) to ensure a staff comfort level resulting in a better experience for all.