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Tulsa therapy center brings 'Star Wars' to life for kids with autism

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 03, 2019

Star Wars: Soaring on Hope

“Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.” - Yoda (Attack of the Clones)

TULSA, Okla. -- One weekend ago, near the Center of the Universe…

Soaring on Hope Pediatric Therapy & Autism Center hosted a "Star Wars" experience for special needs kids that was an absolute blast on Saturday. The center provides various therapeutic programs for children with a wide array of special needs in the community.

Kids of all ages arrived with a great sense of anticipation. Some even showed up in their best Star Wars cosplay.

Several familiar Star Wars characters greeted the younglings as they entered the event. Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi and a Jawa to mention a few, made appearances.

"Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? And well you should not.” - Yoda (The Empire Strikes Back)

A young boy dressed as Darth Vader bravely battled a TIE Pilot from the Galactic Empire in a lightsaber duel.

An 11-year-old boy with autism recognized the Scout Trooper from Return of the Jedi and went in for an immediate embrace. Then, he went on to give all the other characters enthusiastic hugs.

"Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi's life. So, you might say, that we are encouraged to love.” - Anakin (Attack of the Clones)

A talented makeup artist offered face painting for the event. She created detailed Star Wars themed art for the young ones. Children chose from a variety of options, Stormtrooper, Princess Leia or Yoda, to mention a few.

The children then had the opportunity to build their own robots.

They also constructed their individual, colorful lightsaber.

Now that the young Jedi Knights looked the part, they were armed with their weapons and they had teamed up with their friendly, droid side-kick, they were now ready for their training to become Jedi Masters. Obi-Wan Kenobi was on hand to guide them through a fun obstacle course.

When they had accomplished their mission, they were awarded a certificate and a Soaring on Hope Star Wars themed t-shirt.

The Star Wars fans finally jumped into hyperspace; a Star Wars moon bounce.

Soaring on Hope is known for its creative, out of the box themed events. Calling all Superheroes! and Mommy Needs a Break, are a couple of the events they run throughout the year.

Jessica Dyer is the founder and runs Soaring on Hope.

“Each event focuses on building skills from our therapies that each child would receive in a regular session. Since SOH is sensory safe, all events we hold cover all skill levels. We do events because for some time, Tulsa has been lacking a network for families with disabilities. We believe in a community that gives families a place to come and to be together through the journey of ups and downs being their every step of the way. The kids lack acceptance and understanding, so community events give them a place to come and make friends," Jessica said.

“Dear child, the belonging you seek is not behind you… it is ahead.” - Maz Kanata (The Force Awakens)

Their next upcoming event is their second annual Shark Week, beginning July 29.

“Soaring on Hope will partner with the Oklahoma Aquarium for this popular event. Always be watching our Facebook page (Soaring on Hope Pediatric Therapy and Autism Center) for pop-up events and registration,” Jessica said.

“Hope.” - Princess Leia (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story)

“Soaring on Hope’s job is to clear the obstacles in the way of children with developmental delays, so they can be successful in life. Our science-based therapies include: Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), Speech, Occupational, and Physical Therapies along with counseling and parent education. For each child that has a difficult diagnosis we want to help them be overcomers, so they can learn to live their best life,” Jessica said.

This sensory-themed event was out of this world. They made the Star Wars galaxies come alive for these local, special needs kids.

The young Jedi departed, traveling spinward toward new horizons.

“Remember…the Force will be with you, always.” – Obi-Wan Kenobi (A New Hope)

To find out more about Soaring on Hope go to their website.:

To learn more about Soaring on Hope's upcoming events go to their Facebook page:

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