Healthy Living

The NBA Makes Space for Autism

It's all about inclusion

NBA games are filled with screaming fans, bright lights, and loud music. While it is part of the entertainment for many fans, it can be overwhelming for children and adults with sensory sensitivities. For a lot of these individuals and families, it is a reason why not to partake in the NBA experience. “I think that’s the sadness of the whole thing. Because we are one of those families; I have a non-speaking son who is on the autism spectrum, and he loves basketball and because of all of this it was very tough to take him to a game. And that’s why a lot of our families end up withdrawing from the community and isolating ourselves,” said Dr. Julian Maha, founder of KultureCity.

The NBA-sensory rooms are innovations that offer a level of inclusion, as well as a welcoming and accommodating experience to a broader range of fans. Having a space where children and adults on the spectrum can engage in play and storytelling allows them to explore and interact without risk. It is an inclusive environment that is available to any guest to go and to regulate or to have some quiet time. KultureCity and Jacobson, on behalf of the NBA, have stressed that they will continue to “make sure that the best experience possible for every fan, every game, every day is there.”

References

https://abc57.com/news/nba-makes-space-for-fans-with-autism-spectrum-disorder

https://understood.org/en/community-events/blogs/in-the-news/2018/05/04/nba-creating-sensory-rooms-at-over-half-of-its-arenas

http://autismjourney.org/5-benefits-multi-sensory-environments/

https://sporttechie.com/nba-jazz-launch-in-arena-sensory-room-for-children-with-autism-vivint-smart-home/

https://nba.com/article/2018/04/02/nba-store-new-york-city-becomes-worlds-first-sensory-inclusive-retail-store