- Associated Press - Thursday, November 12, 2015

ASHWAUBENON, Wis. (AP) - The Resch Center in Ashwaubenon is among venues setting up a “sensory safe zone” where families that have children with autism can take a break from the stimulating sights and sounds of a sporting event or a concert.

PMI Entertainment Group operates the Resch Center and two adjacent facilities also owned by Brown County. The first safe zone will be set up temporarily at the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena Nov. 28 and 29 for the “Sesame Street Live” performance, PMI spokesman Terry Charles said.

Charles said PMI officials “think there are probably some people who won’t even attempt to come here” because their children couldn’t handle lights and noise without a place to get away from it. Officials learned recently of a facility in Michigan that offers a similar room, he said, and decided to bring the idea to the Green Bay area.

The Resch Center hosts the Green Bay Gamblers minor league hockey team and University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men’s basketball.

Other sports venues or franchises have also embraced the concept of working with families that have children with autism, Press-Gazette Media (http://gbpg.net/1HJXNMT ) reports. The National Hockey League’s Florida Panthers offered discounted tickets and a sensory-friendly lounge during a game earlier this year.

Quiet zones typically have items that can soothe children, said Linda Blohowiak with Green Bay-based agency Aspiro. She said items such as lava lamps, fish tanks and weighted blankets are shown to help calm children with autism exposed to bright fluorescent lights and loud music.

“It’s great that the Resch Center is trying to be sensitive to people’s needs,” she said.

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Information from: Press-Gazette Media, http://www.greenbaypressgazette.com

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