MIAMI (CBSMiami)- A brand new Multi-Sensory Room for kids with autism and other special needs had it’s grand opening Friday at Miami International Airport.
MIA’s ceremony for the room kicked off their celebration of Autism Awareness Month.
The room is designed to be a quiet area for young passengers with cognitive or developmental disabilities such as autism that provides a relaxing environment during the travel experience.
Officials from Miami International Airport and the University of Miami-Nova Southeastern Center for Autism and Related Disabilities (CARD) hosted the grand opening ceremony on the morning of April 19.
“We have so many friends and family with children that have special needs. It is important that we understand that and that we dedicate enough time and effort, and sometimes money to make their travelling needs just as comfortable as those that we benefit from.” said Lester Sola, Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Miami-Dade Aviation Department.
Officials thanked various individuals involved in the creation of the project. A huge welcome was given to the ceremony’s most special guests, the five children who would be the first official guests of the room.
“Our commitment is to have you here yet again, in the future, as we continue to build out an experience with other locations, not just here at MIA D-Terminal,” said Sola. “But through all the entire airport facilities.”
The children got a chance to play inside the multi-sensory room and spend time with their families and the other kids. There was a lot of happiness and excitement going around for all of them and some of the kids already had their favorite features of the room.
“A nice picture,” said Benjamin, one of the first guests of the room.
The room includes sensory-soothing fixtures such as an aquatic bubble tub, wall puzzles, cushioned seats and a light projector, all within a dimly lit space. It will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and it was created through a partnership between MIA and the Miami Beat Team from Leadership Miami’s Class of 2018, in consultation with UM-NSU CARD.
The Multi-Sensory Room is part of MIA’s MIAair program, which provides tours and materials to families with special-needs children.
According to Sola, MIA is one of the first airports to have a multi-sensory room of this kind in the nation.
It can be found just beyond Concourse D TSA security checkpoint #4.