Younger student with Autism question

I was searching CD for info on young, grade school age kids who have autism and how they could watch FRC regional. I really didnt find what I had hoped for but did find this link talking about quiet rooms - [FRC Blog] Quiet Rooms at FIRST Robotics Competition Events

That was a very interesting read. However, didnt answer what I was looking for.

Here is my “issue”:

I have a friend who has a 2nd grader. He loves walking through the pits and looking at the FRC robots and how different teams have come up with different ways to accomplish a given task. Problem is he cant handle watching the competition with all the noise and bright lights.
We have watched matches on the tv in pit areas which he liked.

When I read about the quiet rooms in the above thread, I wondered if anyone has heard of or tried making a room in the competition area that could be used for viewing by people who cant be around loud noises and/or bright lights. We have tried ear muffs and sunglasses which helped a little but not a true solution.

I am trying to get them to come to our new practice field this week to watch a few robots practicing which will have a little chaos just to see how he does.

I expect he will be checking out robots in the pits at Northern Lights and Lake Superior regionals again this year.

Let me know your thoughts or ideas you may have.


In the Indiana Districts we typically have at screen in or near the pits that is showing matches. If the pits aren’t overwhelming, that is an option. Most events also stream, using a cellular tablet could also be a way to watch.

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You could also use a personal tablet or smart phone and watch the twitch stream for the event in any out of the way or quieter place.

This is what I did with him last year - watch matches on screen in pits.

I have a few thoughts, most of them are host building dependent.

  1. Our school has a viewing area in an upstairs hallway that can show the gym. I wonder if any events in your area have this as well.
  2. Some event areas have the practice field in a separate (and much quieter area).
  3. I wonder if there are teams that would be interested in a separate viewing/ demonstration opportunity either in a quiet place at the event, or in separate place altogether.
  4. I wonder if someone could curate a list of CD Robot reveal videos/ best teams to watch threads to have him (and other people who may be interested) make predictions about the game before or while watching in an alternative area.

The Granite State District event had a livestream running in the the school’s theater, while the main event ran in the gym. A handful of people were calmly hanging out and watching, and it looked like a great low-stimulation environment to watch the competition. This setup isn’t practical everywhere, but it’s not hard either, and it would be great to see this option in more venues.

Funny, this brings back memories. I was in first or second grade when my dad brought me to watch my first FRC, and we watched via a livestream because the main venue was full and very loud. That was more than 20 years ago. :slight_smile:


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