Field trip to Wild practice helps kids with autism prep for game day experience

- The roar of the crowd, the bright lights and loud sound effects are all part of the game experience at the Xcel Energy Center for the Minnesota Wild games. While those aspects usually hype fans up, they can be stressful and overwhelming for kids with autism.

At the Xcel Energy Center, 40 kids from two Twin Cities schools got to experience elements of a sporting event, like practice, in more manageable doses.

“No two days look alike,” said Tony Farah a father of one of the participating students. “Every day is a challenge. It's 24/7. As you can see it's called a spectrum for a reason because every case is different.”

The Autism Society of Minnesota and Associated Bank arranged the field trip through the X. The event helped expose kids to environments that might be stressful because it's hard to know always what will be.

“Even though I have two boys with autism, they'll experience it very differently,” said Michelle La Mar, a vice president at Associated Bank. “One will have a meltdown. One will turn inwards and shut the world out, so it could be very different and it could be the noise, it could be the environment or it could be a light.”

The visitors got a chance to ride a Zamboni, sit on the bench, have fun and hopefully build up some comfort.

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