The Woodbridge Tide Mill is welcoming more and more children and families these days but sometimes, when it is busy, it may be an overwhelming or even stressful experience for individuals with sensory processing disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Heather Sheehan, The Tide Mill’s Education Lead, says “We are delighted to announce that we now have Sensory Backpacks. The backpacks are designed to make a visit more accessible and enjoyable for children who need a little extra support.”
“The backpacks are free to use and are located on the entrance desk. You can ask for one from any of our friendly staff and they will happily lend it to you for the duration of your visit. You can just return it before you leave.”
“Our backpacks can be carried everywhere with ease and contain a range of sensory objects to either calm or stimulate”.
Each backpack contains:
• Two squeezable fidget toys – to calm an overanxious mind
• Ear defenders – if the Mill machinery gets too noisy
• Sunglasses – if the light gets too much
• A torch – for those gloomy Museum corners and to see our machinery in a little more detail
• A ‘feelings indicator’ – if you’re too shy to express yourself
• A magnifying glass – to help find those pesky hidden mice
• A sensory map – to show you where the noisy and quiet areas of the museum are
• The museum trail – to keep you busy on your visit and which you can then take home with you.
Sensory backpacks like this are a powerful calming tool for children with sensory or additional needs.
We are also introducing ‘Quiet visits’ which can be arranged via appointment. During Quiet Visits the Museum will run with a reduced capacity – exclusive to Quiet Visitors and we will lower volume levels, or not run, any noisy machinery or exhibits, all to create a more relaxed environment.
Visit the Woodbridge Tide Mill website to find out more.