MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has completed the process to become a Certified Autism Center, an international designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to ensuring guests with autism and sensory sensitivities have the best possible experience.
“Often the roadblock isn’t the children, it is finding businesses that are willing to adapt their operations to accommodate and meet the needs for special needs children,” said Chris O’Shea, who has a child on the autism spectrum.
Parents with children on the autism spectrum often find choosing destinations and attractions a challenge due to sensory needs, dietary restrictions and safety concerns. In many cases, changes or accommodations made by these locations might seem minor, but they can make a big difference to the guest experience.
By earning the Certified Autism Center designation, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has proved its commitment to serving individuals on the autism spectrum and ensuring a positive experience for all guests.
“We are extremely proud to become a certified autism center; our team has worked very hard training to properly serve our guests on the spectrum,” stated Pablo Chavez, General Manager Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach. “We look forward seeing their enjoyment during their visits to Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach.”
As part of the Certified Autism Center requirements, aquarium staff completed autism sensitivity and awareness training to learn how to better communicate and engage with guests with sensory needs and their family members, as well as safety concerns and protocols.
In addition, Ripley’s Aquarium of Myrtle Beach has designed specialized programs for guests with autism and other sensory disorders such as a Sensory Friendly Days, Sensory Friendly Camps and more. It also is a partner of Champion Autism Network.