Nebraska nature center offers sensory backpacks


GERING, Neb. (AP) — A checkout program for sensory backpacks is available at the Wildcat Hills Nature Center in the Nebraska Panhandle.

Amanda Filipi is a Nebraska Game and Parks Commission outdoor education specialist based at the center, and she says she learned of sensory backpacks after her nephew was diagnosed on the autism spectrum.

The backpack contents are designed to stimulate the senses and serve as a calming kit for youths who face anxiety during field trips and other busy events at the center. The contents include sunglasses, noise dampening earmuffs, books and a variety of sensory toys. The backpacks complement a number of quiet spaces that have been designated in the building.

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