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Parents cheer autism-friendly 'Mary Poppins'

NEW YORK — The afternoon performance of "Mary Poppins" was marked by yips, shouts and moans — and that was just fine.

It was the second autism-friendly performance of a Broadway show, and for many families with a child who suffers from the disorder, it turned out to be a practically perfect day.

The Theatre Development Fund, a nonprofit organization focused on providing access to live theater, bought all 1,797 seats for Sunday's matinee and offered reduced price tickets to families with an autistic member. They sold out in two days.

Says Paige Bravin, a mother of an autistic 11-year-old: "It is an amazing opportunity to bring our families here and enjoy the show not be stressed and relax and know that everyone in the theater is in our situation."