Shipwreck Island Water Park to provide colored wristbands for children with autism

Published: Jun. 28, 2021 at 10:52 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Shipwreck Island Water Park is looking to improve safety for some of its guests with special needs.

The park will be offering purple wristbands for children who are on the autism spectrum.

The staff of Shipwreck Island is undergoing training on how to best interact with these children with unique challenges, and the hope is that the program will create a safer environment for everyone.

”(We just want to) make it safer,” said Nicole Milano, Aquatics Director for Shipwreck Island. “When we have these kids they don’t give the same typical responses we do when we interact with the rest of the public in terms of struggling in the water, or maybe it’s standing in line for an attraction and not having the patience. It lets us operate and interact with them so we can operate in a safer manner.”

The idea came about due to an influx of special needs children visiting the park.

”So we’ve had a definite growth in the number of kids on the spectrum that have been coming out to Shipwreck Island Water Park,” Milano said. “Every year we seem to be getting more and more kids, and we want to make sure that we are appealing to the masses. So it’s just a way for us to more so make sure that we’re giving everyone the best possible experience to have a really good time here at Shipwreck Island Water Park, and that is where the purple bands come in with those kids.”

Parents can ask for a band when they enter the park, but they are not required for admission.

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