By Jana Morrison
In 2011 my family took their three children to an Easter egg hunt. Normally, such an event is a fun filled day for kids to run, play, find eggs and eat candy. Yet, when the clock ticked down and kids took off in pursuit of candy treasures, my daughter put her plastic bucket on her head and began to cry.
Abigail was diagnosed at age 2 as nonverbal autistic. A typical egg hunt can be overwhelming for children with sensory issues. Yet, as they were all leaving the egg hunt, her father Ryan and I recall seeing two children in wheelchairs left in tears on the sidelines unable to participate.
Abbi is blessed with two amazing older brothers Hayes and Evan. On that day, they went home and decided to hide and share their newly acquired eggs with their sister. That day was bittersweet.
My daughter was able to go home and recreate some version of an egg hunt with her siblings, but there was a nagging feeling between us as parents that something more could be done. I told Ryan that someday I was going to give kids with disabilities a place to hunt eggs.
In spring 2015, with the support of their church, THE WELL COMMUNITY Church, our family hosted an egg hunt for kids with disabilities. Thirty-seven children attended that year. Since then, the hunt has grown with almost 100 kids registered for this year’s event.
The hunt is broken into three categories: 2 p.m. for kids in wheelchairs or who use gait trainers, 3 p.m. for kids with sensory issues and 4 p.m. for kids with any disability.
At the Special Egg Event, kids will have access to the playground, sensory room, craft room, LEGO room, games and prizes, plus the Easter Bunny. The church and community donated candy, filled Easter eggs, gave monetary donations and provided volunteers.
This event was Abbi inspired, but community blessed.