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New guides help families with autism plan ahead for eating out at Flower Child restaurants

Nicole Villalpando

We’ve done stories about sensory friendly offerings, from the Wings for All program to help kids prepare for airline travel by practicing boarding a flight, to including sensory friendly hours at the Thinkery and movies at the Alamo Drafthouse in our family calendars, to giving tips on how to go on vacation for families with autism or serious illnesses. 

Now you can take a trip to a restaurant virtually in preparation for physically going to that restaurant. Pal, a company that has the slogan “Everyone gets to go,” offers virtual tours, digital guides and digital tours of places families might want to go. Most of its places have been in Arizona, but now it has these tours and guides for Flower Child, a restaurant that focuses on local food. Flower Child has two Austin restaurants: one downtown at 500 W. Second St. No. 133, and the other at the Domain, 11721 Rock Rose Ave.

On the video tour, you get to see a family who has a child who appears to be on the autism spectrum enter the restaurant, order their food, pick up their drinks and silverware, wait for the food, eat their food, and take to-go boxes home. You see the scenes in the restaurant as well as hear the noise of the restaurant, which has an open kitchen.

The insider tips rate the crowd level, the noise level, the amount of walking, and the average length of stay. The digital tools give a step-by-step guide to your experience in the restaurant.

Check it out and encourage your favorite restaurant to do the same.