The World’s First Autism-Certified Waterpark Is Here in the U.S.

Aquatica Orlando is the world’s first autism-certified waterpark! Even though the Florida attraction itself isn’t new, its recent certification from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) is.

As a Certified Autism Center (CAC), Aquatica Orlando’s staff (or as the park calls them, Ambassadors) receive specialized training that allows them to completely cater to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Along with learning about autism, the Ambassadors’ training includes info on sensory awareness, motor skills, program development, environment, communication and emotional awareness.

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Not only can kids benefit from the specially-trained staff, but the park also includes a Quiet Room with adjustable lighting, comfortable seating and plenty of privacy and a Low Sensory Area, an in-park spot that’s away from the sounds, lights, motion and everything else in the aquatic attraction.

David Heaton, Vice President of Aquatica Orlando, said in a press statement, “As the first water park in the world to complete the training and become a Certified Autism Center, Aquatica Orlando is proud to provide fun and memorable experiences through exceptional service.” Heaton added, “We continually strive to create safe and meaningful experiences for all of our guests, and we are committed in our efforts to offer families inclusive activities for children with autism and other special needs.”

The park also offers plenty of pre-trip resources (including a sensory guide), giving parents the chance to create a game-plan beforehand. Find additional information on visiting the park on the Aquatica Orlando website.

—Erica Loop

Featured photo: Aquatica Orlando via Instagram


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