July 22, 2022, NBC Washington, DC: Six Flags America Becomes DMV's First Certified Autism Center Park https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/six-flags-america-becomes-dmvs-first-certified-autism-center-park/3110926/?amp=1
Six Flags America in Bowie, Maryland, has become the DMV area’s first certified Autism Center Park, according to a statement on their website Tuesday.
“We’re really excited to be able to extend that thrilling experience that we’re known for to more people,” said Joseph Pudlick, an employee at Six Flags America and Hurricane Harbor.
Six Flags America has received accreditation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, an international body that offers training and guidance in being equipped to serve guests with autism and others with sensory sensitivities.
“The crowds, the noise of the rides and noisy things, autistic people tend to have issues with sensory processing, so a lot of the sensory input can be overwhelming,” said Zoe Gross, a member of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network.
Six Flags plans to have sensory sensitive days to make the experience a bit quieter for those, such as people on the autism spectrum, who may be sensitive to loud, abrupt noises like bells, whistles or alarms. On those days, the park will still be open to all patrons.
"Over 85% of our staff has received specialty autism training, and it’s obviously an ongoing learning process,” said Pudlick.
The park said on its website that on sensory sensitive days, announcements and music will be kept to a minimum.