The Cover Story

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Sarah Smalley and sons Ty, 10, and Brady, 12

WHO: Sarah Smalley and sons Ty, 10, and Brady, 12

WHERE:Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts in New Albany

WHEN: March 10, 2018

THE BACKSTORY: Sensory-friendly performances have become part of the repertoire for multiple Central Ohio arts organizations. These plays, concerts and even movies are adapted for special needs audiences by raising house lights, lowering the volume and allowing patrons to move around, sing or even leave the auditorium mid-show. For many families, particularly those with children on the autism spectrum, it's a welcome respite that allows them to experience performances that might otherwise be off-limits.

Sarah Smalley and her sons, both of whom are on the autism spectrum, are regular attendees of the New Albany Symphony Orchestra's sensory-friendly concerts. The performances include pre-concert activities such as an instrument “petting zoo” that enhance attendees' appreciation of the music. “It was everything I had ever hoped for and imagined,” Smalley said. Read more about the growth in sensory-friendly showsHERE.