Students with autism get their kicks at special performance of Rockettes

The Bayou City’s second autism-friendly Broadway show came to the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 6, and dozens of HISD students and their families took advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a rare night out together in a supportive environment.

The Radio City Christmas Spectacular, which featured a performance by the world-famous Rockettes, was slightly modified to accommodate the needs of children with autism-spectrum disorders, and areas for both quiet and activity were located throughout the lobby. Attendees also benefitted from the presence of dozens of volunteers, who had been specifically trained in autism spectrum disorders.

About 400 children and adults from HISD attended the show for free, courtesy of The Hobby Foundation. Families who could not afford transportation to the show were provided with free rides through a special arrangement with HISD’s Parent Engagement Department. The tickets were distributed through a lottery system.

The first autism-friendly Broadway show took place in Houston during the summer of 2012, with a performance of The Lion King at the Hobby Center.