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Conway library hosting Sensory Friendly Saturday for children with autism

Conway Library will host Sensory Friendly Saturday on April 23 for children with autism. (Amanda Kinseth / WPDE)

April is Autism Awareness Month, but some area libraries are helping those with autism every month during Sensory Friendly Saturdays.

Coloring is something that Diane Owens uses to relax, as well as a tool she uses to help children with autism.

So she brings a mix of crayons and toys to area libraries to create a welcoming, comfortable environment for Sensory Friendly Saturdays.

"When we start a movie, we don't have a bunch of previews playing ahead of time, because our kids might get kind of antsy," said Diane Owens, with SOS Health Care. "We also allow them to wander around when the movie is playing, just so they feel comfortable."

Owens said they also have sensory mats that make children feel like they're getting a big hug.

"These are awesome, actually, for the kids to use, just because it's something that just makes them feel better," said Owens. "They need that tight squeeze and just to have that softness against their skin."

The Conway Library is launching its first Sensory Friendly Saturday this weekend.

"We want everyone to feel welcome, like they can come here, even though they have a disability, and this is open to any children with disabilities," said Lynn McKinernan, with the Conway Library.

Families can visit the Conway Library on Saturday, April 23 at 11 a.m. for Sensory Friendly Saturday.

The Carolina Forest Library also hosts Sensory Friendly Saturdays.

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