City of Tampa taking steps to become more autism friendly


Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn introduced throughout his “State of the Metropolis” earlier this yr that he plans to make the town extra Autism pleasant — and now, six months later, the town is shifting ahead with the mayor’s promise. 

  • Metropolis of Tampa taking steps to turn into extra autism pleasant
  • Metropolis staff getting coaching to work with particular wants youngsters
  • “Distract packs” filled with sensory toys & actions positioned round metropolis

Greater than a thousand metropolis staff have gone by way of coaching to work with youngsters who’ve particular wants. 

“We speak about learn how to talk or how they could talk,” Lee Daly with USF Middle for Autism and Associated Disabilities stated. 

Mother’s like Jennifer Sickle, who’s 9-yr-previous daughter Leah is autistic, stated the coaching has made an enormous distinction. 

These at Cate Jackson Recreation Middle have welcomed her into their after faculty program with open arms. 

“She has bean bag within the camp room. She has areas everywhere in the rec middle the place she feels protected. If she must take a breather, she is aware of the place she will go,” Sickle stated. 

To assist bridge any attainable communication hole, the middle for Autism and Associated Disabilities additionally designed what’s referred to as a “distract pack” — that are bins filled with sensory toys and actions. 

The distract packs have already been positioned at 15 totally different metropolis places. 

On the new Tampa Recreation Middle, the coaching will quickly be used for gymnastic and dance courses — which 30 particular wants youngsters already participate in. 

“It is very, very overwhelming with youngsters with autistic tendencies,” Parks Supervisor Patti Gross stated. 

The room is generally full of youngsters and that would pose an issue for many who cannot take the crowds and noise. 

Nevertheless, after all the coaching, some issues might change. 

“I might like to do a particular want class the place it is slightly quieter and you may invite the mother and father with the autistic youngsters,” Gross stated. 

These are simply extra methods to make Tampa extra autistic pleasant. 

Jennifer Sickle stated for her household, the town has already come a great distance. 

The Tampa Police Division stated it is also participating within the coaching. Every officer will obtain a communication card to raised work with those that cannot verbally talk. 



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