HAMBURG, N.Y. (WIVB)–Being stuck at home is a difficult task for anyone, but it’s an even bigger struggle for families with kids who have special needs. So, a reverse Disney parade was held Tuesday to get those families out of the house and help them feel supported.
Sensational Fun, along with other local non-profits, put together the parade in the parking lot of a Hamburg church.
About 250 people came by and said hello to their favorite Disney and superhero characters and that extra socialization was really important for these kids with special needs.
“When they hit milestones, it could take years to understand socialization, to become social, and now to take these two months and push it out. It is so much more extreme than a neuro-typical child. It’s hard for everybody, but the regression is so much more extreme”, said Jennifer Kline founder of Sensational Fun.
The Reszka-Stoehr family partook in the fun. There are eight kids in the family, three of the children have special needs. Their mom, Jessica says the struggle of not having a set schedule right now is the most difficult part of all of this.
She’s turned into her kid’s teacher, therapist, and more during this time. She says this parade was a great way to unwind and see some smiles.
“They were smiling and laughing and pointing. They were just so happy and so excited.”
The groups of Disney characters gathering are people from the same household. Each family received a care package on the way out, and Buffalo Autism Project made sure everyone received a chicken dinner too.
Sensational Fun — which is a non-profit therapeutic play center for kids with disabilities — does plan to do other events in the future.
Kelsey Anderson is an award-winning anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.