Special Needs Students
HMNS welcomes students of all abilities! If you have special needs students, please read the following tips and information about bringing them on a field trip to HMNS. If you have any suggestions on how we can better serve your special needs students, please let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the various resources we offer, please visit our Accessibility page and select the special needs of your group.
Access HMNS App
You can also download our Access HMNS app to use before, during, or after your visit. Access HMNS has social guides, a customizable schedule, communication icons, games, a sensory map, and tips for your visit. Access HMNS is available for both Android and Apple devices. The Access HMNS App is presented by Texas Children’s Hospital and SPARK.
Sensory Friendly Field Trip Day
Join us on December 7, 2020 for our Sensory Friendly Field Trip Day. From 9am-2pm, museum exhibits are modified to create a more neutral sensory environment. The Burke Baker Planetarium and Wortham Giant Screen theatres offer certain shows in 2D with house lights on and volumes lowered. Sensory Backpacks, which include ear defenders, sunglasses, and fidgets, are available to check out with an ID at the Museum Services Desk, and Touch Carts with tactile specimens to explore will be available throughout the museum’s permanent exhibit halls.
To book a field trip on our Sensory Friendly Field Trip Day, email email@example.com with your name, school name, number of students, ages, and what special needs your group has. This will enable us to give you the resources you need to make your field trip successful.
General Field Trips
We encourage teachers to bring their special needs students any day of the year! Before booking your field trip, read the tips below and take advantage of our Sensory Guide to select the right date, time, and venue for your group.
To book a field trip, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, school name, number of students, ages, and what special needs your group has. This will enable us to give you the resources you need to make your field trip successful.
If you’re unable to bring your students for a field trip to the Museum, let us bring the Museum to you! We have a variety of outreach topics to choose from. Visit our Outreach page for more information on topics and pricing.
Visit HMNS at low volume times. Our museum halls can get crowded on the weekends, during our Free Days on Thursdays from 2:00pm until closing, during holidays (especially Spring Break), and during the summer. During weekdays in the spring, the halls may be crowded with school groups visiting on field trips. The best times to visit are right when the museum opens (9:00am) during the week, especially on Mondays. If you have any questions about how busy the museum is, you can call 713-639-4629 to speak with a representative from our Visitor Services Department.
Review our Exploration Planner in advance! A good way to prepare you and your family for a visit to HMNS is to look over our Exploration Planner and decide which exhibits you’d like to see and in what order you’d like to visit them. It might also be helpful to bring a printed copy of the Exploration Planner, along with our Visual Vocabulary Cards, with you for your visit!
Be sure to review our Sensory Guide before your visit. This map includes information on sensory components of each exhibition as well as quiet places to stop and take a break during your exploration, should you need them.
Please note that our Sensory Guide evaluates loud noises and extreme quiet with equal high sound rating. In the same way, extreme dark and extreme light are evaluated with equal high visual stimulation ratings. Halls were evaluated in this way as each extreme can be potential triggers to someone with sensory sensitivities.
Most Special Exhibits are one-time entry only, so make sure to plan enough time to see the whole exhibit!