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Easter Bunny Makes Accommodations for Kids With Autism

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Meeting the Easter Bunny can be an overwhelming experience for anyone, but for a child who experiences sensory overload or finds routine changes uncomfortable, it can be particularly difficult. Many kids with autism or sensory challenges want to participate in a day with the Easter Bunny at the mall, but are met with large crowds and chaos. So, a few autism organizations came up with a solution to this: the “Caring Bunny,” who’s accommodating to children with different needs.

At sessions with the Caring Bunny, music is off and bright lights are turned down. There are no crowds or long lines because you make a reservation. The environment is controlled and comfortable.

Tricia Taylor, whose 7-year-old daughter Gracie has autism, attended a Caring Bunny event at the Southdale Center in Edina, Minnesota, set up by the Autism Society of Minnesota (AuSM).

“Everybody is so patient with the kids,” Taylor told KSTP-TV. “It’s wonderful.”

Kelly Thomalla, AuSM’s Director of Marketing and Communications, says the response to “Caring Bunny” events has been positive.

“Families and individuals with sensory needs are excited to be afforded the chance to visit with the Easter Bunny… in environments that make them feel welcome, included and loved,” she told The Mighty in an email.

The “Caring Bunny,” sometimes known as the “Sensitive Bunny” is modeled after the success of “Sensitive Santa” — a popular program that allows kids with special needs to meet Santa in a comfortable setting.

For a list of other Caring Bunny events in the country,  head here.

Originally published: March 16, 2016
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