Hundreds turn out for Halloween event for those with special needs

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Around 400 people packed a local parking lot Sunday to make sure those with special needs in Central Texas got a chance to trick-or-treat early at an event designed with their needs top of mind.

Elite Therapy Center in Waco partnered with No Limitations, a nonprofit that provides activities and sports for those with special needs, to host its third annual “sensory friendly, all-inclusive Trunk or Treat” Sunday in Waco. (Courtesy photo)

Elite Therapy Center in Waco partnered with No Limitations, a nonprofit that provides activities and sports for those with special needs, to host its third annual “sensory friendly, all-inclusive Trunk or Treat” Sunday in Waco.

“It’s a safe place because everyone there knows about kids with special needs and they don’t feel like they need to explain their kids,” said Elite Therapy Center owner Kari McKown.

Businesses and community organizations set up and decorated the trunks, many of which included interactive activities such as holding a fishing pole to “fish” for treats.

All activities were thought out with the kids’ specific needs, from wheelchairs to hearing or vision impairments, in mind.

“All the trunks and activities were accessible to those with special needs or provided a sensory experience for them. We make it sensory friendly with minimal stipulation in no scary costumes in a small contained area where they can feel free to let their kids run,” McCown said.

McCown said that one area the organizers focused on was making sure the event was contained.

“It is important to keep it small and self-contained so kids can go through it really fast,” she said.

“A lot of our kids can’t do church fall festivals because of the crowds and lines.”

The parents who brought along their dressed-up children raved about the event.

“One of our moms said it best,” McKown said.

“She said it’s the only place she can bring her two 18-year-old boys to trick or treat and no one thinks anything of it.”

“It’s just a like-minded community and the event just keeps getting better.”