DC’s Spy Museum hosts special day for kids on autism spectrum

WASHINGTON — A special group of visitors had the International Spy Museum in D.C. all to themselves on Sunday.

The museum made special accommodations to help children on the autism spectrum enjoy their visit. “We turned down a lot of the lights, we turned down a lot of the noise and kept the crowd smaller,” said Jackie Eyl with the Spy Museum.

More than 400 people registered for the program in less than 24 hours.

“The event was created so we can open up our doors to [the] autism community,” Eyl said.

Yetta Myrick and her 13-year-old autistic son got to enjoy the museum in the quieter environment, which she said was awesome.  They had never been to the International Spy Museum before, even though they live in the District.

“When you create a space like this where it’s quiet, they [the children] can walk around and you can allow them to be themselves and maybe, you know, not have a meltdown because it’s too much for them,” Myrick said.

She said loud environments can overwhelm autistic children.

“So it’s great to have these opportunities because you can really see our kids have fun and there’s not the stress of being in an environment with other people who might not understand if your child can’t cope,” she said.

The museum wants to offer the special day again, maybe even twice a year, but Eyl said it all depends on funding.

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