The following resources are available to any and all visitors with sensory sensitivities and/or Autism Spectrum Disorders. Use the resources below to prepare for your museum visit or use them while you’re here to create an individualized museum experience for you and your family.
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, with the HMNS at Sugar Land toggle supported by the Fort Bend Junior Service League.
Use our Visual Vocabulary Cards to make visiting new spaces and transitioning between museum halls easier. You can also use these cards to create a visual schedule of your day at HMNS at Sugar Land!
HMNS at Sugar Land Exploration Planner
Visit HMNS at Sugar Land before you ever walk through the doors! Use our Exploration Planner to let your child know what to expect during your day at the museum, from waiting in line at the box office to exploring our many exhibit halls. Let Tom the T. rex give you helpful tips on what to expect and look for along the way!
Check out our Sensory Backpacks, created and given to HMNS by Boy Scout Alex Hightower! Just show the Team Member at the Box Office your ID in order to check out a backpack for your visit. Our Sensory Backpacks include fidgets, stuffed animals, ear defenders, and sunglasses, among other things, to ensure that you have a comfortable, sensory-friendly visit with us.
Certified Autism Center
All HMNS locations have worked with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), a global leader in online training and certification programs, to be designated as a Certified Autism Center™ (CAC). Our staff has completed training and certification in best practices when assisting individuals with autism. By undergoing additional autism-specific training, the goal is for our team to be better equipped to provide better service and experiences to all. Click to learn more about Certified Autism Center™
Sensory Friendly Events
Three times a year, HMNS at Sugar Land offers Sensory Friendly Events where exhibits and venues are modified to create a sensory neutral environment for those with autism and sensory sensitivities. Sensory Backpacks, which include ear defenders, sunglasses, and fidgets, are available to check out with an ID at the Box Office, and Touch Carts with tactile specimens to explore will be available throughout the museum’s permanent exhibit halls. Pre-registration is required for these events, which take place during the hour before the Museum opens to the public. Tickets may be purchased at a discounted rate. Free permanent exhibit hall admission for Sensory Friendly Events at HMNS at Sugar Land is made possible by proceeds from our annual fundraiser, Jingle Tree. We are grateful to all our generous donors for their support.
2023 Event Dates are:
Saturday, January 28th – 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, May 13th – 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Saturday, October 14th – 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
*Touch Carts are currently not available due to COVID. We sincerely apologize.
Individuals with disabilities and their families will receive free admission to the permanent exhibit halls for Sensory Friendly Events at HMNS at Sugar Land! Pre-registration is required to access free admission. To pre-register for these events and to book your visit, please email us at SLAccessProgramming@hmns.org or fill out the booking form below.