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San Antonio's Autism Treatment Center hosts sensory-friendly 'Trunk or Treat'

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San Antonio’s Autism Treatment Center is hosting its first ever sensory-friendly Trunk or Treat Fall Festival on Sunday.

“We're wanting to show that 'sensory-friendly' doesn't have to mean 'plain and boring,'" said Eric Schneeman, the center’s development manager.

Schneeman said that for some living on the autism spectrum, many Halloween events can be jarring, loud, or noisy, and the "Trunk or Treat" Festival will be a safe space to enjoy Halloween rituals.

"People are going to pull up in their car, they're going to decorate the trunk of the car and then pass out candy," he said. "So instead of going door to door, house to house, you'll go car to car to get your candy to do your trick or treating."

There will also be a pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, and a bake sale put on by the Autism Treatment Center's vocational students.

“We are going to be asking for a suggested donation of $20 if you want to take a pumpkin home with you. And all of this will then go towards our education program and towards our therapy program as well.”

The festival will also feature a hay maze.

“It's going to be very low to the ground so you can kind of see over it. And if you need to jump over the hay bales, they can easily jump over the bales," he said. "It's really more of a way of creating a fun little entrance into the activity and pumpkin patch area. If participants really don't want to go into the maze, they can walk around."

Schneeman said there will be plenty of space for families to spread out and an emphasis on a peaceful and quiet environment.

“Our goal is really just to create a very open, accepting environment for this community,” he said.

The Trunk or Treat festival is free and open to the public. It will be held from 2:30-4:30pm on Sunday at the center’s headquarters at Nacogdoches Road near Loop 1604. More information is available at ATCofTexas.org.

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