Like any child, children with sensory sensitivities want a chance to explore all those things that give us grown-ups the heebie jeebies. Little Ray's Reptile Zoo made that happen for some of Saint John's finest sensory kids and their friends this weekend at Bayview Elementary School.
First, I'll explain what it means to have sensory issues. Kids (and adults) on the autism spectrum (and otherwise) can be sensory-seeking or sensory-adverse. Sometimes, they can be a little of both. In order to run a sensory-friendly event we have to be mindful of three major things.
1. There will be kids that need to exert built up energy. These kids will need an outlet. Otherwise that energy might come out in a less productive way. We arranged some gym equipment and a large space to kick balls and run around for those kids. My Kate would be one of those rock stars most of the time.
2. Second, we had to make sure the crowd was not too large, and overwhelming for our kiddos that shy away from stimulation. My Kate would be one of these sweethearts on occasion.
3. Finally, we had to find people and kids that would not judge or stare at children who might act a little differently in the face or certain stimuli. This part was easy because the members of TeamKate were amazing, as usual.
Thank you Ray's Reptiles! We will certainly do this again.
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