HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- On Sunday, Parkway Place Mall joined forces with a local organization to provide children an opportunity to visit the Easter Bunny in a comforting environment.
"We provide sensory activities, we have some of our therapists here working with children as they are waiting on the Easter Bunny. We're kind of shaping, trying to get them to find that a very pleasurable activity," said Melody Crane, Executive Director at The Riley Center.
The most recent data from the CDC says that 1 in 59 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder throughout the U.S.
"Many children with autism have sensory challenges and this is very important because sometimes those challenges prevent them from being able to participate in things in the community," explained Crane.
Tori Calverts thought the event was a great idea for her 7-year-old son, Wesley. She says the event allowed her family to capture precious memories that they can cherish for years to come.
"That's so good for our family because we can get those pictures, but not at the cost of having meltdowns and frustration or even having to leave at some point," said Calvert.
The Riley Center holds sensory-friendly events every year at Easter and at Christmas time.