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Hudson’s Helping Hands: Sensory Santa Express At Children’s Museum Of The East End

Hudson's Helping Hands for Autism, Inc. was created by Founder Kristen Teodoro and her husband, Augie. (Photo: Courtesy of Hudson's Helping Hands for Autism, Inc.)

Hudson's Helping Hands for Autism, Inc., (HHH) an IRS tax-exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was created by Founder Kristen Teodoro and her husband, Augie. The mission? Provide inclusive events, integrated learning experiences, and support to children on the autism spectrum and their families. 

On Saturday, December 5, the Sensory Santa Express will be held at the Children's Museum of the East End (CMEE), running from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. "Children will enjoy our Sensory Santa and ride on a trackless train through an outdoor holiday light show. Parents can expect food trucks, festive crafts, music and so much more. Proper COVID guidelines must be followed during the event as well as temperature checks upon admittance. Additionally, families must purchase tickets in advance at hudsonshelpinghands.org and RSVP for crowd control purposes," Teodoro advised.

Further, Teodoro relayed, "It is estimated that one in every 54 children are now diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum and that one in every six children experience a form of developmental delay. It has also been found that inclusion is a vital instrument to foster a culture of respect, acceptance, and belonging amongst all children. Hudson's Helping Hands is devoted to providing events and learning experiences designed for both typical children and those with special needs to partake in and enjoy side-by-side."

Addressing the difficulties encountered as a result of the Coronavirus, Teodoro explained, "In the summer of 2020, most resources and schools for children on the spectrum chose not to operate due to COVID-19. As summer camps and programs for typical children carried on, we were inspired to develop an integrated summer program for children on the spectrum and their siblings. As a result, Hudson's Helping Hands was founded."

"We hosted Sensory Friendly Mornings at CMEE for the month of November. In these difficult times, a lot of children with and without special needs have had little to no socialization and we felt it was essential to provide a (COVID safe) sensory friendly space for them to explore, socialize with peers, and feel some independence again. We had our amazing music therapist come for each session, the kids absolutely love her! She uses lots of rattles, props, and colorful scarves which puts a smile on the children's faces."

Expressing her gratitude to CMEE, Teodoro stated, "We absolutely adore the team at CMEE. When we first began, in the summer of 2020, they were one of the first places to reach out and volunteer their space and services. They care about the community and the children within it! They understand our mission and are totally onboard in helping us in any way to accomplish our goals. They understand that at the end of the day, it's all about the children."

Looking forward to 2021, Teodoro revealed, "We are just beginning to plan for 2021, but we are busy! There is always an event to plan or learning experience to create."

If you are interested in learning more about upcoming events and programs, volunteering, or donating go to hudsonshelpinghands.org, follow HHH on Instagram @hudsonshelpinghandsinc, or visit Facebook.com/HudsonsHelpingHands. All donations and sponsorships help provide for upcoming events, learning programs, and support.

For more information, contact Kristen Teodoro at HHHforAutism@gmail.com or 631-766-3875.

Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.

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