O-Fish-All hosts unique fishing event.
O-Fish-All is teaching children with special needs the art of fishing. The mastermind behind this event shares a special connection to the special needs youth in the area.
Niki Visconti works with special needs children at VISD and came up with the unique event.
“I am a special education teacher for the district and so I know how important it is for these kids to have a way to interact and socialize,” she says One mom of a special needs student, Kimberly Ramirez, believes this is a great outlet for her son.
“I think this is a wonderful outlet for these kids. It gives them an opportunity to be themselves around other children like them, which is hard for my son when we go places. He doesn’t get an opportunity much to just be himself,” says Ramirez. Kimberly’s son, Kaden, has participated before and offers him something different than his usual studies. “I’m always looking forward to it every year, because it was very fun and exciting for all of us special needs kids,” he explains. Visconti wants parents to know they are here for help and support. He adds, “They will understand there is an entire group of people out there to help them and support them.” Kimberly Ramirez says everyone should be more socially aware of autism and she wants parents to teach their children about it and other special needs.
She told us, “We need to teach our children, these kids want to be normal just like their children and everyone else. They just do it a little bit differently, they just have a little trouble communicating but its there, they just need time to say it a little differently. They are not weird, they are not any different then any other children. They go a different route when communicating than we do.” Visconti says all the hard work putting this event together is worth it. She believes that, “It’s so rewarding at the end, especially when they come out and you get to see their smiling faces. I mean every time they catch a fish, it’s just like Christmas.”
O-Fish-All looks to continue this event in the future, and hope that it grows in participation each time.