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Sensory time given to those that need it during Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival

Published: Oct. 15, 2021 at 5:23 PM EDT
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RICHMOND HILL, Ga. (WTOC) - Some families had the Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival all to themselves on Friday.

Bryan County students who have special needs get to do this every year before thousands of people show up.

What some people don’t realize is big crowds and loud music can be overwhelming. So, this just gave them a couple of hours to take the pressure off and have some fun at the festival.

“The park is amazing. The park is so dang amazing,” Sophie King said.

This is Sophie’s third year coming.

“All of this good stuff, then all of that.”

It’s not everyday kids like King can have moments like this. She was diagnosed with Williams Syndrome and says it’s been a tough year for her at school.

“There’s things about me that are different than everyone is,” King said.

Other kids were thrilled to join in. Walteria Maine’s son, Brendan, is autistic and she says this is their first time attending because of his condition.

“He always has a rough time because it’s so loud…everything is so fast and it’s so crowded so when we saw this opportunity, we were very excited to come…slow everything down and enjoy it,” Maine said.

And that’s why the Chamber of Commerce partners with the school system so they don’t miss out.

“You know a lot of times families with special needs kids don’t come at all because it’s just too overwhelming,” Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber of Commerce CEO Kathryn Johnson said.

And the kids are just here to be, well, kids.

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