April is Autism Awareness month, and for the third year there will be an autism-friendly way to explore the Van Vleck House & Gardens, called “Sensory Celebration”.
“A few years ago, I started bringing our son who has autism to Van Vleck for walks in the garden,” says Verona resident Elizabeth Vigna. “Not only did he enjoy exploring the grounds, listening to the birds and fountains, gently feeling the textures of leaves, he was able to communicate about his surroundings. After frequent self-guided visits to the garden in all seasons, our family began participating in Van Vleck’s educational classes, partaking in outside concerts and even meeting Santa Claus in their main house over the holidays.”
Three years ago, Vigna approached Van Vleck about hosting a one-day event during Autism Awareness Month. “They were wonderfully supportive and they are a pleasure to work with,” she says. “We hope that more Verona families will join us for a special afternoon at our hidden treasure.”
Van Vleck’s Sensory Celebration will be held on Sunday, April 8, from 1 to 4 p.m. Families will be able to have a stress-free afternoon of garden discovery and explore the gardens using their senses as a guide. Activity stations will be arranged outdoors and in Van Vleck’s education center focusing on different textures, smells, shapes and colors in the natural world. There is a suggested donation of $10 per family.
Van Vleck House & Gardens is located at 21 Van Vleck Street in Montclair.