For autistic boys, the subway is actually soothing

John Leland

Travis Huggett thought of the subway as a means of getting from one place to another. Then he had a son on the autism spectrum.

To Orson, now 9, a train was something more than transportation. It was soothing, endlessly fascinating, more intriguing than any destination it might reach. At his school for children with autism, other boys shared the same passion. When Mr. Huggett started photographing some of them, asking them about their interest in trains, he discovered how many different ways they were drawn.

“Some were really interested in maps and timetables,” Mr. Huggett said. Some liked model trains more than the real thing. Some found crowded cars too stimulating, but one wanted even more stimulation: his idea was to ride the subway to Coney Island and then ride the Cyclone roller coaster. “It was incredible how different they all are,” he said. “I learned a lot about how diverse the community is.”

At the New York Transit Museum, the staff noticed that their most enthusiastic visitors were boys on the spectrum, a phenomenon seen at similar museums around the globe. So in 2010 it created a Subway Sleuths program for autistic children in second to fifth grades that uses their common interest to help them develop social skills. This summer it added a pilot program for high school students. “Our purpose is all about communication and building friendships,” said Regina Asborno, the museum’s deputy director.

Continue reading full article here

Related Articles

Autism and companion robots

In a special-needs primary school in Qatar’s capital, Doha, a 3-year-old girl on the autism spectrum has a n ..

read more

Boy with autism draws up great things

One Bay Area mother has done countless hours of reading and research about autism spectrum disorder. But what ..

read more

Autism in small-town America

Morning circle is off to a rough start at LilyPad Learning Center. On a bright Monday in September, in the lar ..

read more

Our Support Community

Join our free support community and connect with thousands of other families and individuals touched by ASD. Find out what’s working for others, coping strategies, and life guides from others living what you’re going through now. Click here to join for free!

Resources in Your Area

Looking for autism resources nearby? Check our listings for professionals and services that might help.

Post your services | Help out in general


9th World Rett Syndrome Congress
Surfers Paradise, QLD - Australia
Sep-30-2020 - 09:00 am
The Rett Syndrome Association of Australia (RSAA)email rettaust@bigpond.comwishes to draw attention to the fact that it is staging the 9th World Rett Syndrome Congress i ..
Go to Event site

view all events