Photo courtesy Cabrillo Marine Aquarium

I’m so excited to announce that Autism Awareness Day at Cabrillo Marine Aquarium on Monday, April 2nd, is shaping up to be a wonderful event for special needs families. While my relationship with the aquarium started off on the wrong foot, I’ve since been cultivating a wonderful partnership with Ed Mastro, the Director of Cabrillo, and his team. This man genuinely wants to make this aquarium accessible for all and is so invested in learning more about autism and how he and his staff can make everyone feel welcomed and accommodated. It’s so rare to have such a genuine response from anyone, but Ed and Cabrillo are the real deal and I can’t wait to bring Andrew back for a “redo.”

I’ll also be conducting a staff training a few days prior to the autism event, along with two other professionals working with the autism population, and I think everyone will benefit from what is shaping up to be an informative and enlightening introduction to individuals on the spectrum and the real challenges they and their loved ones face every day. My hope is not for everyone to become experts in autism, but rather, to empower staff, and inspire them to support guests with developmental disabilities in such a way that makes Cabrillo a favorite place to visit for our families.

The event on April 2nd will be closed to the general public, and entrance is free, though Cabrillo is requiring guests to register through Eventbrite.

Highlights of the day include:

Exploring different habitats in Southern California
Touching local tide pool animals
Hearing the sounds of whales
Seeing baby jellyfish
Hatching grunion eggs
Racing plankton
Feeding abalone
Watching movies
Dressing-up as ocean animals

Additionally, arts and crafts and quiet areas will be set up in the library. There will also be an area outside where individuals who need a break can go and relax. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own food if they’d like, and eating areas will be available in the courtyard. The aquarium also features a family restroom.

Our family is planning to be there that day, and I would love to meet you if you plan on attending. I have the best readers, who always go the extra mile for the community, and this event and opportunity for education would not be possible without your active contributions in advocating for our kids.

I have a feeling Cabrillo is going to be a family favorite of ours, and I’m so grateful that amazing opportunities have come from something I know the aquarium will never let happen to someone like Andrew again.

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