ALBERTVILLE, Ala. -- A mom in Marshall County is working to facilitate more opportunities for kids of all abilities, and she hopes her actions are mirrored in the community.
Patricia Moore's son Spencer is a ball of energy. At five years old, you have enough to spare.
Every April, which is Autism Awareness Month, through a platform she created called Spencer's Friends, Moore organizes outings that are sensory friendly for children of all abilities.
This year she's doing something a little differently. "I decided to choose organizations that were already functioning in the community that were inclusive to children with special needs and neurotypical children," Moore said.
Through Spencer's Friends, she's supporting the Lighthouse Theatre Company through a sponsorship. Formally known as the Whole Backstage Children's Theatre, the nationally recognized youth theatre program in Marshall County offers a series of summer camps for kids of all ages and abilities.
"There are many children who have participated in the sensory events in the past who do this program. So it's inclusive to all children," Moore explained.
"Not every kid is a swimmer, not every kid wants to be outside all day long, so we just want to open the door and provide a place for all of them," said program director Kelleybrooke Brown.
Including every child is especially close to Moore's heart. Spencer is autistic, and things that get him involved with other kids are vital.
The Marshall County Legislative Delegation helped support the program through a sponsorship, and Moore hopes other people and businesses will step up to support programs that include every child, like the summer theatre camps. "They're free to be creative and they're free to be themselves, and that is a blessing for a child like Spencer," Moore said.
That's an opportunity she would like to see more of.