By Taylor Powell, Correspondent
For the first time this year, the Belton Church of Christ held a sensory disorder tract for children with autism spectrum disorders. This special tract was held June 4-7 from 6:20-8:30 p.m. Vacation Bible School is a yearly event for the Belton Church of Christ.
The separate event for the children with spectrum disorders is what made this year an even more special occasion. The idea to have a separate sensory friendly event for these children came from Jason Miller with the help of the children’s minister, Josh Kellar. Miller noticed in past Vacation Bible School events that some of the children were having negative reactions to loud activities that other children would participate in.
When Miller noticed the negative reaction that these children were experiencing, he brought up the problem to the children Minister Keller. When the topic was brought up to Keller there was an immediate reaction to finding some way for these children to enjoy vacation bible school just like all the other children.
“I kind of went through anything that is over stimulating and toned it down a bit,” said Jason Miller.
The children with sensory needs can enjoy the same event as the other children, but the separate event caters to the needs of these children.
“Two main things that tend to be bothersome are volume and visual. What might seem normal to you could be overpowering for some kids” said Miller.
The volunteers at the church have worked hard in order to make activities cater to the needs of these children. They have worked hard to make sure everything is the perfect comfort level. The room is calm and dim to not be overbearing for the children with sensory needs. The activities and skits are toned down in a way for them to enjoy just as any other child would enjoy.
“The energy and the passion are still there, but not the noise that some kids would find painful,” said Miller.
The children and the parents have had a positive reaction to the recent development of the sensory friendly event. This new event has these children who previously dreaded going to Vacation Bible school now have a new outlook on participating in the activities. Jessica Lovett, a parent of children with sensory disorder and a Vacation Bible School volunteer, is very excited about the addition to the yearly summer event. Jessica Lovett has a child apart of the sensory friendly is excited about the new events and looks forward to next year’s events. The other children apart of the separate program have had similar reactions to the new changes.
The Belton Church of Christ looks forward to their new sensory friendly developments in the upcoming years. They look forward to next year’s summer vacation bible school. They are there to make sure every child is comfortable. Vacation Bible school is held every year June 4-7 from 6:20-8:30. The Belton Church of Christ is located at 3003 North Main Street and they are excited in spreading the word about their sensory friendly program.