March 14, 2012

Brick SEPTA Easter Egg Hunt

Posted in Fun Stuff tagged , , , , , , at 9:23 am by autismmommytherapist

I hear a triumphant “Got one!” shouted from behind me, but I am in pursuit of my eight-year-old son with moderate autism, and can’t stop to behold the treasure a pre-schooler has found. I’ve attempted to bring Justin to the annual Brick SEPTA (Special Education PTA) Easter Egg Hunt at Windward Beach, and he’s let me know in no uncertain terms that he wants no part of it. I make a mental note to skip this part of our Easter traditions with him next year, realizing he may just have outgrown rooting around on the ground for colored plastic cylinders. As I chase him down a hill toward the river, I look back over my shoulder one more time to take a brief glance at the festivities.

To my delight, at least fifty special needs children are gleefully participating in the event that Justin has decided he is way too cool to attend.

This is just one of many events that our wonderful local Special Education PTA has hosted over the years. There’s the annual Halloweenfest, where special needs children can paint pumpkins, participate in a hayride, and down large amounts of free buttery popcorn, which has always been my son’s favorite part.

For the first time this year SEPTA, in conjunction with the Lake Riviera Middle School and the Brick Challenger Program, hosted a dance for special needs children and their siblings, an event which was a resounding success. All these efforts are an attempt to make certain that kids who may be seen as “different” have the opportunity to participate in the same childhood staples that most of their parents have attended in the past.

This is why, despite my son’s disdain for this particular event, that I love the SEPTA Easter Egg Hunt.

I’ve taken my other child to local hunts over the years, but due to his tender age, he was often crowded out of the chance to collect his coveted prizes. On occasion I’ve had to literally cover eggs with my feet just to make certain my boy would walk away with one plastic concoction.

The great thing about the SEPTA Easter Egg Hunt is the abundance of eggs placed strategically in open view so that every child can claim at least a few for his or her own, and can truly participate in a traditional holiday ritual. There’s also a guaranteed visit from the Easter bunny himself, which after I concluded chasing my son back up the hill I was gratified to see that his presence brought joy to a number of children. Every kid who wanted to greet him was able to get a turn, and in a timely fashion.

All in all, it was clear that every child participated fully in a timeless, and fun, tradition.

I’ll most likely be taking my youngest child to scour the earth for pastel eggs this year, and I’m certain he’ll revel in discovery and acquisition, much as his mother did many, many, many decades ago. If you are a member of the Brick SEPTA and would like to participate, please see the link below:

http://www.facebook.com/events/185215351587371/

Saturday, March 31st, 11:00 AM, Windward Beach

See you there, and don’t forget your Easter basket!