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Comfort felt with 'one less thing to worry about' at sensory-friendly skating

Posted at 4:43 PM, Jun 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 10:28:06-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you’ve been to a roller rink, you can imagine the party scene that is often set. But for a few hours on Saturday, things were different at Skateland, offering a sensory friendly experience.

Parents said it makes a world of difference for their children.

“The parents really appreciate it. Have a place that’s safe and we can have our children enjoy skating and meeting new friends,” Bettina Garza said. She attended the event with her son and daughter.

Saturday morning, you couldn't find any flashing lights or loud music.

“They definitely love it because sometimes it can be overwhelming when they walk into a place that’s sometimes loud or the lighting is different," Adrienne Garza said. "So, they come in here and it’s just normal. They’re able to not worry about that. That’s one less thing they have to worry about.”

Adrienne brought her twin sons and daughter. She said her boys love to skate because you can usually find them skating around their house.

“It’s really appreciated especially with a child with autism," Bettina said. "Sometimes those can (heighten) his sensory issues. And so, having that special time and them be accommodated to their special needs, is really appreciated.”

Someone behind the idea is Skateland manager Lexi Kovarek, who is also a special education teacher.

“I think it’s awesome," she said. "I’m all about being inclusive and providing people with disabilities the same thing other people are given, who don’t have disabilities. And, I just think it’s really important to provide, just these accommodations.”

This is the second sensory friendly event Skateland has held. Kovarek has been seeing more sensory friendly events and wanted to be inclusive as well.

“Some of my former students are here and their parents just tell me they’re having an amazing time being able to come here and not be so overstimulated by the environment here," said Kovarek

“We live not to far from here, so it’s amazing to see more businesses doing sensory friendly events to where we don’t have to worry about following the majority of the rules. The boys don’t always go the right way like in usual skating," said Adrienne

Skateland has gotten some good feedback and hoping to make this a monthly event.

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