Family Museum: First Certified Autism Center™ in Iowa

Family Museum has earned the Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) designation, which is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and demonstrates Family Museum ’s dedication to providing a supportive environment for guests with autism and other sensory disorders. Staff completed sensory disorder training and a comprehensive exam in order to earn this certification.

The Family Museum is a department of the City of Bettendorf, Iowa, and has been a community resource for over 20 years. The museum offers a unique, hands-on, learning experience that is designed primarily for children eight and under. Kids and their caregivers can engage in play-based exhibits, day programs, dance classes and other enriching activities guided by the knowledgeable museum staff. Specialized Sensory Kits are readily available to assist those who may need a reprieve from the excitement of the museum. Staff are also happy to provide a quiet, low-lit room for children with sensory sensitivities.

The Vision Statement of the Family Museum parallels the tenets held by the IBCCES:, which states “The Museum envisions a community that is increasingly vibrant, engaged, and resilient because it recognizes and develops the potential of its children.” This vison is echoed by Kim Kidwell, Family Museum Director, when speaking to the significance of their certification.

“The Family Museum is committed to providing a highly trained staff to improve the experience and learning environment for individuals and families affected by autism,” said Kim Kidwell, Family Museum Director.

Parents with children on the autism spectrum, as well as individuals with other sensory needs, often find it challenging to identify attractions where they feel safe, welcomed and understood. As a leader in healthcare, corporate, and education certification for 20 years, IBCCES recognized the need for more travel and entertainment options for individuals with cognitive disorders and, in response, created training and certification programs specifically for those areas.

“Family Museum staff are now better equipped to meet the needs of all guests and we’re proud to work with them on this initiative. We applaud their concerted efforts and recognition of the need for professional certification,” said Myron Pincomb, IBCCES Board Chairman.

IBCCES also created, a free online resource for parents that lists certified destinations and connects families to other resources and each other. Each destination listed on the site has met Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) requirements.