ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — A Marshall County mom is organizing a free sensory-friendly fair for families that include a child with special needs.

Patricia Moore started the Facebook page Spencer’s Friends a few years ago, and since then it’s reached dozens of families across Marshall County. That’s what it was meant to do.

“It was really important to me to find a way to make things out in the community available,” Moore said.

Available, to families like hers.

Her son Spencer is six, Autistic, and low-verbal. “I have one with special needs and one who’s not, and they’re very close in age,” Moore said, “There have been many times in the beginning where I found that my eight-year-old, who at the time was only five when her brother was diagnosed, she wasn’t getting to go to the movies like her friends, and she wasn’t getting to go to the fair, and other outings that are just a typical weekend out for another family, but she wasn’t getting to participate because her brother wasn’t able to at the time.”

So Moore created Spencer’s Friends to do something about it. She organized a free sensory-friendly fair day for families in Marshall County who have a child with special needs, along with other sensory-friendly events.

This year’s fair is Tuesday, May 14, in the afternoon. “It’s for children who struggle with large crowds, with the lights, the smells, waiting in line,” Moore explained.

This special fair will eliminate all of that. “This is not just an invite for their child with special needs, but also, we want it to be a family event,” Moore said.

This is the third year she’s partnered with the local VFW to make this happen, and she’s noticed a difference in her own son.

“These events really helped him,” Moore said, “It made such a difference in getting him familiar with things out in the community to a point where we could start trying them outside the sensory events, and that was my goal all along.”

It was a goal for her family, and so many like hers, in Marshall County. She encourages families in other counties to reach out to their fair organizers, to create a similar event.

Families that are interested in participating in this year’s sensory fair need to RSVP through the Spencer’s Friends Facebook page.