WEEKEND EXCITEMENT: Tyler Leather is excited about the Picnic in the Park being held at the Tom Quinn Centre this Saturday. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail
WEEKEND EXCITEMENT: Tyler Leather is excited about the Picnic in the Park being held at the Tom Quinn Centre this Saturday. Photo: Zach Hogg / NewsMail Zach Hogg

Picnic for children with special needs

A BUNDABERG family is putting its savings towards a very special event - a picnic in the park for children with disabilities.

Steven and Casey Fletcher are parents of two children with special needs and say they often feel isolated from the community.

Their boys, Deacon, eight and Tyler, five have autism.

Deacon also has moderate intellectual impairment and Tyler has ADHD.

Mrs Fletcher said two months ago she found herself online, searching for support.

She clicked on an autism support page and began engaging with parents.

"But it was all online, I didn't feel connected," she said.

"I thought, how about we all come together and connect like we did in the old days?" 

It was this thought that led to the Fletcher family saving their pennies to host a special day out for families and friend of children with disabilities.

"It's also about bringing a smile to these little kids' faces, they go through so much ever day with therapy and surgery," she said.

"I'm hoping when they grow up they'll remember the good things like Picnic in the Park and not all the therapy."

Mrs Fletcher said the public often criticised her children.

"People don't understand the child because they act differently and at times, it can really get you down," she said.

"Because of the children's behaviour you do feel isolated.

"A lot of families don't go out and they don't mingle because of this reason," she said.

Mrs Fletcher said the Picnic in the Park, to be held at The Salvation Army Tom Quinn Community Centre, would provide a judgment-free, relaxing day for families and friends of children with special needs to interact.