Windsor business holds Eggstra Special Easter Egg Hunt for children with special needs | MyWindsorNow.com

Windsor business holds Eggstra Special Easter Egg Hunt for children with special needs

Emily Wenger
ewenger@mywindsornow.com

Kirsten Brewer has three children with autism, and sometimes that means participating in community events is impossible.

Large groups of children can be overwhelming, especially at something like an Easter egg hunt, said Marissa Garnica, another mom of a child with special needs. Even the parents can get loud, even violent, as they try to help their children get the most eggs, something that can make the events unfair and impossible for children with special needs, Brewer said.

Both moms said they want their children to have the same fun childhood experiences as children who are more able to deal with the chaos that accompanies many holiday events.

They had that chance March 24, when Pediatric Therapy Associates in Windsor teamed up with Colorado State University to host a special needs Easter egg hunt. CSU students studying to be therapists stood in a ring around the Easter egg area, keeping an eye on children and making sure they all had a chance to pick up some of the plastic eggs scattered on the lawn. Although the event was the first to be held at that location, Behm said about 200 people registered.

Garnica's daughter, 2-year-old Ellora, can't move as well as other children her age, which can make chaotic events dangerous.

"But with kids on her own level, she has a chance to enjoy it," Garnica said.

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Taneal Behm, an occupational therapist with Pediatric Therapy Associates, said she had heard CSU was no longer going to be able to hold the event, which has taken place for 11 years on CSU's campus. She believed her workplace would be a great location. The building, at 4650 Royal Vista Circle, Suite 100, in Windsor, also had an indoor location for children who needed a break from the chaos.

Linda Stoddard, a health professor at CSU, said she was excited the event could continue.

The event not only gives children a chance to participate in a more controlled environment, but also provides an opportunity for parents of children with special needs to connect, and to get to know caregivers in the area.

Everyone running the event, Behm said, was trained to some degree to help families and children with special needs.

As Garnica bounced Ellora on her hip, she smiled at her daughter and headed toward where the other children had gathered, ready to pounce on colorful, plastic eggs laid out by the volunteers for the Eggstra Special Easter Egg Hunt.

"I love it," Brewer said. "It gives us some semblance of normal."

For more

Pediatric Therapy Associates in Windsor, which recently held an Easter egg hunt for children in the area with special needs, offers a variety of therapy for children. For more information, go to nocopediatricot.org.