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Recapping the Florida Panthers Autism Acceptance Night

A beautiful Thursday evening in early April saw the arrival of one of ABA Centers of Florida’s most anticipated events: a complete takeover of FLA Live Arena in the form of Autism Acceptance Night. Months of dedicated planning, phone calls, emails and meetings took shape as the Florida Panthers hosted the Ottawa Senators in a heated battle for a playoff spot. Though the 7-2 victory was certainly one for the records in the Panthers’ 2022-23 regular season, it presented something much more important than hockey: a chance to show how valuable ABA therapy can be for a child with autism.

The stadium was vibrant and buzzing, anticipating what was sure to be a well-matched game, but the real highlights came off the rink. Whether it was the catered private suite reserved for our kiddos or the multiple activation areas that mimicked our clinics’ play places, there was a little something for everyone to enjoy before the puck even dropped. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the inaugural Autism Acceptance Night that ABA Centers of Florida presented and what made it so special.

Autism Acceptance Night Recap

The Events

Autism Acceptance Night may not have been on every spectator’s agenda, but kids of all ages knew they were in for a treat as they strolled into the stadium. After scanning their tickets at the entrance, fans saw a public activation area hosted by ABA Centers of Florida.

Children could play on slides, foam pits, rock walls, and other sensory-friendly toys. With our name and motto, Proven Autism Care, flying high and proud on the banners, spectators could see our clinic play places in action and how they benefit our clients with sensory-related challenges.

While the activation areas were a great time for many spectators, our private suite was the scene of most of the action. Clients and parents mingled with our registered behavior technicians and other staff over specially catered food as they watched the Panthers defeat the Senators in style.

The suite encompassed a viewing room with TVs, activities, and rows of seats with perfect views of the rink. Right amid the action was our CEO, Chris Barnett, donned in his best Panthers jersey, beaming with the wide smile he shared with our clients. We even serenaded one lucky kiddo with “Happy Birthday” over cake and candles.

The Accommodations

To ensure that all our kids and fans were as comfortable as possible, ABA Centers of Florida partnered with FLA Live Arena to create a “sensory quiet” room on one of the upper floors. For guests who may have experienced sensory-related complications, this room, staffed with one of our registered behavior technicians, allowed them to unwind in peace and tranquility. Inside the dimly lit room were bean bags and other comfy accommodations to alleviate the sensory concerns the hockey game may have presented.

The High-Five Kid

ABA Centers of Florida couldn’t have been more excited to welcome our guest of honor, the High-Five Kid! Our client, Adrian, had the opportunity to personally high-five each Panthers player as they made their way onto the ice. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, Adrian also received a huge ovation from the crowd as the public address announcer shouted him out with a highlight on the scoreboard hovering over the rink!

The Mission

This Autism Acceptance Night with the Florida Panthers was just one of the many events that ABA Centers of Florida hosts for our clients. We are always finding new and exciting ways to give kids on the spectrum a chance to have fun while being mindful of sensory concerns. As always, our mission with these events is to break various stigmas regarding autism and other developmental disorders while stressing the importance of ABA therapy for children and teens.

We understand the many benefits that sensory-friendly events for autism can provide for children on the spectrum and frequently host events in a similar realm. This way, we can normalize autism-related complications in familiar environments and give our kiddos the tools they need to succeed.

Get Started on Your ABA Therapy Journey

If your child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), we strongly recommend that you research ABA therapy to help them develop the necessary skills to live a meaningful life. Some skills taught by ABA therapy for children include coping, fine motor, social play, reading and writing, visual and perception, and daily living activities. ABA Centers of Florida works with your family to create an individualized treatment plan for your child’s needs.

Since early intervention is vital for your child’s success, we would love to hear from you! Contact ABA Centers of Florida at (772) 773-1975 for any questions regarding our services or to schedule a consultation.

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