Thomas the Train and Friends are back and kicked things off with Sensory Day
Thomas the Train and Friends are back at the depot this weekend.
Thomas facilitated a Sensory Day for children, families, and others who prefer quieter settings.
Back for its second trip to Duluth, today’s trip on the North Shore Scenic Railroad with Thomas the Train was sensory-friendly!
“This is our fifth year of the Sensory-Friendly Day out with Thomas. We started this here in Duluth as an experiment, and now it’s been adaptive by Mattel, who is the brand manager for Thomas. It is replicated Sensory Friendly Days at every Thomas appearance across the country,” said Ken Buehler, the Executive Director of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.
Sensory Day started in Duluth as a way to help one child experience all that this event has to offer.
“A couple of years ago, a woman in Alexandria Minnesota started a petition drive, and I always said, “Thomas is for everyone.” She had a son who was on the spectrum of autism and wondering if it could be a tone down Thomas the Train event with all the noise without the blows and whistle and the distraction to be quieter and more organizer, Buehler said.
For dad Justin Sellner, this was great timing for him and his son to attend. He loves Thomas and dad says events like these are a way for him to feel included as a child on the autism spectrum.
“I think it means a lot to all the parents to make it slightly easier for their children; and for them to actually go out of their way and be understanding. Nobody as a parent really wants an exception, we just want a little bit of understanding as we do this.”
Thursday is the only Sensory Day on Thomas’ schedule, but a day out with the big blue tank will continue through the weekend at the Duluth.