Surfside beach is now autism friendly

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SURFSIDE, S.C. (WBTW)- The town of Surfside beach is now considered autism friendly. Tuesday, town council released a proclamation saying it would cater to families who had special needs children and try to make vacationing easier and more enjoyable.

We spoke with Becky Large, a woman who is very involved with an issue that impacts a lot of families. Large’s son has autism and although he’s high-functioning, she says he still has tantrums. Her son can seem fine in a social setting but if he’s over-stimulated, he can get upset and very loud.

Large said things are easier at home in a controlled environment but said that’s no life for her or any family with the same problems.

“Sheltering everyone in your family isn’t any fun and it’s depressing and it’s not necessarily good for your child so creating opportunities for people to be able to leave their homes and feel comfortable and if their child has a meltdown, everyone around them gets it and it’s okay, a judgement free zone is what I am trying to create.”

Large is working on raising awareness with restaurants in Surfside so they can be understanding and accepting of families with autistic children. She says Ripley’s aquarium also wants to be involved and plans to offer fun events for the children. She’s also planning other weekend events like barbecues, play dates, fishing from the pier and movie nights for those with autism.

Autism awareness month is in April and large said that is when she hopes the initiative can really take off.

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