The Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department was officially certified as an autism center, paving the way for inclusive recreation opportunities.

The overview

The Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department announced it had become a Certified Autism Center by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.

In an effort to promote inclusivity and address concerns of parents with children on the autism spectrum, the department held an Adapted Recreation open house event on June 7, showcasing its adaptive recreation programs.

Zooming out

Missouri City Parks and Recreation Department recognized many parents of children with autism may be weary about park accommodations. Acknowledging that discrepancy, the Missouri City Parks & Recreation Department recognized this issue and aimed to foster more inclusivity within the community.

“In order to receive the certification, parks and recreation staffers received specialized training in autism and sensory awareness, giving team members the knowledge and skills to address the needs of those populations,” according to an emailed news release from the city.

The takeaway

By earning the Certified Autism Center designation, the department aims to set an example for other local organizations, Director of Communications Andre Humphery said via email.

The recent open house served as a platform for the department to showcase its adaptive recreation programs. Among the highlighted events was a tryout for certain Special Olympics teams, providing individuals with autism an opportunity to engage in competitive sports tailored to their abilities.

Quote of note

“One in 44 children in the United States is diagnosed with autism yearly, and parents of many children with this condition hesitate to take them to public parks, fearing there will be no accommodations for them,” Humphery said.