TEMPLE -- Heart of Central Texas Independent Living held it's sixth annual Fall Festival for children with special needs Saturday in partnership with the Central Texas Christian School. More than 150 families with special needs kids came out to the school for the event.
The festival had a trick-or-treat run for families, a wheelchair accessible hay ride, and games that all kids could play despite their ability level. Heart of Central Texas Independent living worked with 21 agencies to make the event happen and each group brought their own game while providing resources for the families.
HOTIL Youth Services Specialist Susie Marek said it provides a great opportunity for parents who have kids that need special care.
"The families are not stared at, they can just be themselves," Marek said. "And everything is accessible so the children that have a physical disability can participate in actives as well."
For parents who have lots kids with special needs the event can be a huge help.
"Kids with special needs can really feel out of place a lot of times. Being in this place with all the kids with different needs... it makes them feel at home, like part of a family," Parent Lyzzette Rentas said. "Everyone is the same. Nobody is looking at each other a different way. It's just comfortable."