Making magical moments for kids with autism in San Diego - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Making magical moments for kids with autism in San Diego

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — Emotions were swirling before children with autism watched Disney on Ice's "Follow Your Heart" show at Valley View Casino on opening night Thursday.

The Autism Society of San Diego partnered with Disney on Ice to make the magic happen.    

The special guests- children, teens and adults – also got to meet Mickey and Minnie. 

For one child, Ainsly, she was nervous at first - until Mickey held her hand.   

"This is so wonderful," said grandmother Tina Davenport who attended with 7-year-old Josiah. "They can come in here and do things and be accepted."   

Emotion games before the show, inspired by Disney-Pixar's "Inside out," help children learn about their feelings.  

For parents, they say having a safe space before the performance helps calm their children. 

"It's amazing, because you don't always get to take your kids with autism or special needs to different events because you can't wait in line, you can't deal with all the crowds," said Theresa Loescher. "[Here,] you know it's going to be a safe space for her and the whole family enjoy ourselves." 

These moments also help parents of autistic children build support.  

"They are regular kids that just want to have a wonderful time," said one parent. 

To learn more about the Autism Society of San Diego and its programs, click here.

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