Sonny Hunt

Lehigh Valley

My son (Ty) and I had the pleasure of attending a special performance this summer for individuals with Autism and sensory processing of the musical “Gruff” at the Muhlenberg Theater.

There are so many challenges for families that deal with individuals with autism and/or sensory processing that typical events such as movies, theaters, theme park shows are not enjoyable for even a few minutes.

We have tried attending many events and the sound levels are generally so loud that Ty can only stay a few seconds before he is covering his ears and is ready to leave.  Ty or our family have never had an enjoyable time at these types of events.  When we arrived at the theater, there was ample seating in the lobby with crayons and activities for the children until it was time to enter the theater.  We were quietly ushered in, there was no loud music and the actors spoke only loud enough to hear.  They also did not discourage families that needed to leave for a moment and reenter the show.  Ty was able to stay for 45 minutes of the show and really enjoyed watching the actors and the other people in the audience.

The play was free flowing and engaging.  The actors engaged the audience asking questions and responding to the results they received.  This made everyone feel like they were a part of the performance.

Ty may not have the chance to do so many things in life that others do, like attending a play or show.  We would like to thank the Muhlenberg Theater for their time and effort to understand the challenges that our families face every day, and allowing us to enjoy the theater.  It was a very special day.

We hope that this was the first of many opportunities for us to attend future events at the Muhlenberg Theater.