Autism-friendly suite opens at Myrtle Beach Speedway

Autism-friendly suite opens at Myrtle Beach Speedway

MYRTLE BEACH, (WMBF) - For the first time, families with children or other family members on the autism spectrum, will be able to enjoy a race in their own suite.

"First of all, it's a dedicated space and as far as I know, it's the first dedicated space for sensory and autism-friendly like anywhere in NASCAR, which is exciting," said Becky Large.

The Founder of the Champion Autism Network, Becky Large says all she's ever heard of at other facilities were autism friendly days. At the Myrtle Beach Speedway families have the freedom to come whenever they can. A collaboration, Mike Neff calls a no-brainer.

"It was something that, was just a neat way to open a door to a group you wouldn't think would want to come to the race track," said Mike Neff, the announcer for the Speedway.

When you think of a race track, you think of loud fans, colors, and cars. Otherwise known as a sensory overload for those on the autism spectrum but Large says the CAN suite, shields families from just enough of it to enjoy.

"…a sense of the action and the noise, but we are definitely protected for the decibel level out there," Large said.

While everyone on the autism spectrum is different, Large says racing could be a big hit for most children.

"Many children on the spectrum really liking Thomas the train, because they are on a track, and it's predictable and things don't change. So I think there is an element to that here. You know, because they are on a track, there's a lot to watch. Maybe they can pick out their favorite car or something," Large said.

Given the history of racing that surrounds us, the Myrtle Beach Speedway hopes this suite helps children become a part of something bigger.

"So you have people who would probably love to go to these things but they don't know if their kids can handle it. And having the opportunity to be here and let them see it at the grass roots and hopefully make some bonds and pick out a favorite driver at this level, that makes it to the next level, may be a chance for them to follow someone all the way up through the ranks," Neff said.

The ribbon cutting for the CAN suite is Friday afternoon and you and your family can be among the first to enjoy it this Saturday.

For more information on this event, and the CAN Film Festival head to the Champion Autism Network website.

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