By Jerry Del Priore
STATEN ISLAND: Autism — a developmental disorder characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as unique strengths and differences, according to Autism Speaks, a nation nonprofit association for individuals with autism and their families – has become more prevalent on Staten Island and across New York City over the years.
Now, the Staten Island Yankees – the short-season New York-Penn A affiliate of the New York Yankees – are taking special measures to ensure fans affected by the condition without a cure can enjoy games at Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George in comfort.
For select tilts during the 2017 season, families and individuals impacted by the developmental disorder can purchase tickets in the Yankees’ special autism suites.
Tickets for the suite are $25 per person, which provides access to the suite, an assigned seat on the suite balcony, air conditioning, no loud sounds within the room, a dedicated suite server, easy access to restrooms and elevators, and ability to turn the lights out in the suite. The room will be limited to 12 people per suite.
“The rate of autism on Staten Island grows every year, and while early detection continues to improve, our team wants to provide a comfortable atmosphere for those affected by the disorder and their loved ones, to enjoy a baseball game and family entertainment,” said Will Smith, President and Operating Partner for the Staten Island Yankees, in a press release.
Local organizations, such as On Your Mark, Inc., which serves people with developmental disabilities and their families on Staten Island and in Brooklyn, sees it as a great opportunity for their target population, who is looking to have fun at Richmond County Ballpark come this summer.
“The Staten Island Yankees organization has always gone the extra mile to ensure that our participants enjoy going to the ball games,” said John Bilotti, Executive Director of On Your Mark, Inc., in a press release. “For example, the new autism suite will help reduce ambient noise, enabling participants who are sensitive to loud sounds to enjoy the games as well.
“On Your Mark has always received top-priority treatment from the Staten Island Yankees, and we are proud to call this wonderful organization our friends and partners, added Bilotti.”
Autism suites will be available on the following dates: June 25, July 1, July 2, July 23, Aug. 20, Aug. 27 and Sept. 1. Autism suite tickets will not be available online and must be purchased by contacting Andrew Lupo at firstname.lastname@example.org or 718-313-1305.
For more information on On Your Mark, Inc., log onto www.onyourmark.org
Staten Island hosts the Brooklyn Cyclones in its season-opener on Monday, June 19th at 7:00 p.m.