TULSA, Okla. — This is the second year ‘Soaring On Hope Pediatric Therapy & Autism Center" is holding the "Autism Sensory Friendly Valentine’s Toys & Games Event."
Children with special needs will each receive a toy.
Heather Bauman is a mom of a 12 year old Rylee who has autism.
“Socializing with other children has always been an issue for her. [I’ve] told Rylee about [the toy drive] and she seems very excited about it,” Bauman said.
Bauman shared that it’s hard to see her child struggle socially and it breaks her heart as a mother.
Sherri Hicks is the mother of Titus, who is eight and also on the autism spectrum.
“So many times, kids [on the autism spectrum] get secluded from events or large gatherings due to the way others perceive them. [These kids] need to be pushed to be the best they can be. Putting Titus in events like the Valentine's toy drive with other kids is a challenge for him due to social awkwardness. Encouragement to get involved is key! We haven't told Titus about the event as I would like to keep some element of surprise!” Hicks said.
Tony Tinervia was diagnosed with autism as an adult. He began the toy drive because he wants other kids on the spectrum to know what it means to be included and what it feels like to realize that they are a valued part of a community.
The event will take place from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., on Feb. 15 at Dave & Buster’s, located at 6812 South 105th East Avenue in Tulsa.
Golden Bell Studios, Target, Jimmy John’s, Zaxby’s and Economy Pharmacy have all donated to the toy drive.
If you would like to donate to the autism toy drive, you can drop off a gift at Soaring on Hope, located at 4908 S Sheridan Rd in Tulsa.
If you have a child with autism and would like to register them for a toy, go to: https://soaringonhopetherapy.formstack.com/forms/valentines_day_toy_drive__dave_and_busters_sensory_safe_event?fbclid=IwAR1IWQsjrW7iGIMo3lcM8aMBAkOYqhUCxMERVtz-DfyYqfeKUQFEWpqJFI4
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