Sensory-Friendly Sundays

Sensory-Friendly Sunday FAQs

What are Sensory Friendly Sundays and when are they offered?

Sensory-Friendly Sundays are on the second Sunday of every month from 10 a.m. to noon. On Sensory-Friendly Sunday, the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center offers free admission to families who have children with autism or have children who benefit from a sensory-friendly environment. Children play in a safe and understanding environment where the lights and sounds are kept low, and fun activities are designed just for them.

The Sensory-Friendly Sunday program provides opportunities to enjoy family time at the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center in a safe and understanding environment. These events allow caregivers to network with one another, and connect to resources. The museum is not open to the public during this time.

Check out our 2023 Amended Social Story to learn what to expect when you attend. 

Why Do Kids Need Sensory-Friendly Sundays?

Every child deserves rich and diverse museum experiences. Children with autism need and enjoy play, but may find some kinds of play difficult. For these children, play is vitally important to learn social skills like communication, observation and imitation (Mastrangelo, 2009). Sensory-Friendly Sunday also gives children a chance to practice using their muscles to perform tasks, all while having fun in a supportive environment.

Can siblings of my child with unique sensory needs attend with us?

Yes! Your family members are welcome to attend the program.

How can my family participate?

Advance registration or sign up is not required. Simply come to the Kansas Children's Discovery Center for an event. Sensory-Friendly Sunday events are subject to change, please check this website for the most current information. To stay up with our latest updates, sign up for our email list above.

Who is Vandyke?

Vandyke, the dog, is a beloved Sensory-Friendly Sundays volunteer. He is a certified facility dog, trained through Canine Companions for Independence. He loves children and especially loves to be petted! Vandyke lives with his grownup and other pets. Vandyke and his trainer, De Jones, regularly attend Sensory-Friendly Sundays.

How are Sensory-Friendly Sundays funded?

Sensory-Friendly Sundays are provided by generous individuals and businesses. We appreciate Pediatric Associates for their generous support that allows this program to take place at no cost families. To allow more families to access Sensory-Friendly Sundays, donate now. 

Who serves on the Advisory Committee for Sensory-Friendly Sundays?

  • Susan Voorhees, PsyD, Private Practice
  • Ashley Bennett, BCBA, Autism Services Manager, Family Service & Guidance Center
  • Linda Burgen, MS, BCBA, Capper Foundation, Autism Service Director
  • Kristen Dayo, 5th Grade Teacher, Whitson Elementary School. Parent of two children, one on the Autism Spectrum
  • Ashley Eckelberry, Teacher IRC/Special Education, Manhattan-Ogden Public Schools
  • Joel Rooks, Autism Coordinator, Topeka Public Schools
Van Dyke
Vandyke the dog

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