By Jonathan Allison, Correspondent
Elks Lodge of Temple, Downs but Not Out support group and Heart of Texas Independent Living of Belton have been organizing an Easter egg hunt for special need children since 2013.
There are many factors of life taken for granted by normal people however: “I have two autistic children ages 7 and 11. It is very difficult to Easter egg hunt around normal children,” said Karen Wall, Easter egg hunt participant.
“Every year Easter egg hunting comes around and, little kids get full of energy and run over the special needs kids, so I chose to stop it,” said Bob Patterson, Esteemed Leading Knight of the Elks Lodge of Temple.
Every holiday there are a few travelers seeking fun but,” when Bob approached Gwen Tanner and me four years ago, he knew he desired a place just for special needs children to play,” said Susie Marek from Heart of Central Texas Independent Living.
The Easter egg hunt was held at the Elks Lodge at on March 26 because “We exist to support the community and the veterans…plus we have always hosted an Easter egg hunt we just wanted to do one now specifically for special needs children,” said Patterson.
According to cdc.gov 15 percent of children are born with a developmental disability.
“We have different groups at the hunt for different needs. We have games for mobility impairment as well as visual impairments,” said Patterson. The hunt is said to offer a rope line for the visual impaired with knots tied in it to guide. Underneath the knots you will find pieces of candy. They will also offer a basketball hoop tailored specifically to the mobility-impaired children, and all activities will be divided by age.
Downs but Not Out is an advocate group that promotes awareness for special needs children. They organize a walk every year for special needs children. The founder, Gwen Tanner is very happy to be part of the Easter egg hunt and, she hopes everybody will shake the hand of the Elks Management team and thank them for this.
The Heart of Central Texas Independent Living Center is a non-profit agency whose responsibilities include everything within helping special needs people live their lives the way they desire to.