Skateland hosts inclusive sensory skating

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — If you’ve been to a skating rink, you can imagine the party scene that often takes place there. But for a few hours on Saturday, things were different at Skateland, providing a sensory-friendly experience.

Parents said it made all the difference to their children.

“Parents really appreciate it. Have a safe place and our children can skate and meet new friends,” said Bettina Garza. She attended the event with her son and daughter.

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

“They really love it because sometimes it can be overwhelming when they walk into a place that’s sometimes noisy or the lighting is different,” Adrienne Garza said. “So they come here and it’s just normal. They may not care. It’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 an autistic child,” Bettina said. “Sometimes it can (aggravate) their sensory issues. And so having that special moment and accommodating them 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 great,” she said. “I want to be inclusive and provide people with disabilities the same as other people who don’t have disabilities. And, I just think it’s really important to provide, just those accommodations.

This is the second friendly event organized by Skateland. Kovarek saw more sensory events and also wanted to be inclusive.

“Some of my former students are here and their parents tell me they’re having such a great time being able to come here and not be over-stimulated by the environment here,” Kovarek said.

“We don’t live very far from here so it’s amazing to see more companies doing sensory events where we don’t have to worry about following the majority of the rules. Boys don’t always go in the common sense like in regular skating,” said Adrienne

Skateland has received good feedback and hopes to make it a monthly event.

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