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Bloomington Gym Hosts Autism-Friendly Easter Egg Hunt

Easter bunny
Eric Stock
ISU graduate student Alex Berry acts as a sensory-friendly bunny at We Rock the Spectrum's Easter egg hunt in Bloomington.

Children on the autism spectrum can hunt for Easter eggs at a Bloomington gym that specializes in serving children with special needs.
We Rock the Spectrum hosted its first Easter egg hunt yesterday and hosts another hunt from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday.

Owner Becky Clark said she limits the number of children to create a safer, more controlled environment and includes a sensory-friendly Easter Bunny.

“Some bunnies they have the big heads on them and they are a little but freaky looking to the kids, so we specifically bought a costume for her that did not obscure her face so they can see her and see her eyes,” Clark said. “We just wanted her to be low key and play with the kids.”

Parents said it was nice to take their children out without having to say 'I'm sorry.'

boy picking up Easter egg
Credit Eric Stock / WGLT
Reece Knipe, 6, was among the dozen children who looked for Easter eggs at a sensory-friendly event Thursday at We Rock the Spectrum in Bloomington.

Dezi Knipe of Normal said it was less hectic than your typical Easter egg hunt, which is just right for her six-year-old son Reece.

“We couldn’t go to the Corn Crib, (there’s) too many kids, there’s too much going on, it would lead to a meltdown,” Knipe said. “We are kind of just hanging out and relaxing today.”

Clark reopened the business in January after its previous owners closed it last year. She knew about We Rock the Spectrum by visiting another franchise location in the Chicago suburb of Palatine as a playground for her 5-year-old son Eli to play.

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Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
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