Many children look forward to holidays like Halloween and all the trappings that come with celebrating. Some kids, however, cannot tolerate some experiences for various reasons, including mobility, sensory and other disabilities.
This year, Heroic Inner Kids, an organization geared toward helping medically or economically disadvantaged youth, will host a sensory-friendly experience for area children.
Ty Randolph, president of the local HIK chapter, said the event is likely the first of its kind in the area. “You see sensory friendly rooms and events in other areas,” Randolph said. “It’s unusual here. It’s progressive.”
The event is not just for kids with disabilities, Randolph said. Families are encouraged to bring siblings too. “We will have some refreshments and candy,” Randolph said. There will also be sensory toys and craft tables so that kids and caregivers can learn how to make them.
The event came about, Randolph said, after he spoke with parents of autistic children who said many events in the area were difficult for their kids to attend.
“The Main Street event may be a lot of walking and movement,” Randolph said. “Some events like a trunk or treat can be too loud and busy.”
Randolph said those factors keep the families at home.
“The Hilton Garden Inn has helped make this happen,” Randolph said. There will be representatives from supportive agencies as well, such as the Health Department and Soonercare along with other local organizations.
Randolph said there isn’t an enforced age range because they wanted to remain open to those individuals with special needs who might be a little older. “We welcome those with disabilities with an interest in celebrating,” Randolph said. “We’re glad to be able to use our organization to make something like this happen for our community.
Those attending the event will be able to enter through a side door rather than the main entrance and a quiet sensory room will be available if an attendee becomes upset or reactive. HIK will also have some recognizable characters at the event for those who are comfortable interacting with them.
“There will be opportunities for community support for caregivers and siblings as well,” Randolph said.
If you go
What: A sensory-friendly Halloween experience
When: 12-3 p.m. Oct. 13
Where: Hilton Garden Inn