On Tuesday, Chuck E. Cheese announced the national expansion of its “Sensory Sensitive Sundays” program to section off time at the restaurant for children with autism. The initiative will launch nationally on April 2 for World Autism Awareness Day.
During “Sensory Sensitive Sundays,” the restaurant opens two hours before regular hours to entertain smaller crowds with dimmed lighting and limited appearances from characters in costume, according to the press release. The show and music will also be turned down or completely shut off during the time period.
Children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can have a hard time processing sensory information and may exhibit hypersensitivity or hyposensitivity to sights, sounds, smells, and touch, according to the U.K.’s National Autistic Society. Through the program, the company says it aims to provide a “sensory-sensitive environment” for children.
"Our tagline is ‘where a kid can be a kid,’ and we want to ensure we extend this ideal to kids who otherwise may not be able to enjoy Chuck E. Cheese's due to the sensory overload," Ami Anderson, senior director of advertising and media at CEC Entertainment, said in a statement.
Sensory Sensitive Sundays will be held at participating locations the first Sunday of every month.