Fine arts museums and occupational therapy collaborations promote inclusion for children with autism spectrum disorder




Fletcher, Tina
Eckberg, Jon
Blake, Amanda B.

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University of Oregon


This program description details an ongoing collaboration between Texas Woman’s University (TWU) master of occupational therapy students and the Dallas Museum of Art’s (DMA) Autism Awareness Family Celebrations (AAFC), which provides inclusive museum visits for children with autism spectrum disorder. These young visitors and their families participate in programs that interconnect opportunities to view and learn about art, engage in creative expression, and participate in a novel community event. During these events, TWU students create a sensory haven and provide activities that enable children to more fully experience the art museum while also managing the behavioral, communication, and social challenges they often experience during community outings. Students also provide parents with relevant information about autism spectrum disorder and with opportunities to connect with others. In conjunction with these events, students and faculty conduct research, make evidence-based program planning recommendations, and provide museum staff with educational supports relevant to their participation planning goals.


Article originally published in CultureWork: A Periodic Broadside for Arts & Culture Works 22(2), 1-10. English. Published Online 2018.
Permission to deposit the published version was given through direct contact with the publisher. For more information please see the faculty member's entry in Project INDEX -- EDH 7/11/23


Sensory haven, Evidence-based program planning, Cultural inclusivity


This is the published version of an article that is available at Recommended citation: Fletcher, T., Eckberg, J. & Blake, A.B. (2018). Parent perceptions of museum participation: A comparison between parents of children with and without autism spectrum disorders. CultureWork: A Periodic Broadside for Arts & Culture Works 22(2), 1-10. This item has been deposited in accordance with publisher copyright and licensing terms and with the author’s permission.