EL CENTRO, Calif. - Taking care of a kid with special needs can be challenging at times. The Benito family said having the support of the community means a lot to them.
El Centro resident Juan Benito said, “It's hard sometimes because you feel like you're alone. There's a lot more requirements. A lot more medical attention that she requires a lot of times, having to take her to appointments in san diego, specialists that she sees because of certain conditions that come as part of her down syndrome.”
Jennifer Benito said, “It's really easy to feel kind of alone sometimes when you're dealing with all the stress and worries that come with down syndrome.”
The 14th Annual Buddy Walk for kids and adults with down syndrome on Saturday at El Centro Bucklin Park lets them know they're not alone.
“Having the whole community be here and our friends and family, it just makes us feel like we have other people who love and support her just as much as we do,” Jennifer Benito said.
The park filled with parents who want their kids to have what other kids have.
El Centro resident and educator Michael Castillo, father of a 14-year-old with special needs, said, “We want to see them succeed. We want to see them included, go to school with other children, participate in sports and activities and just be accepted.”
Castillo said the special needs population is growing locally.
“Not just with down syndrome, but with autism and other disabilities.”
And nobody knows why.
“There's no known reason. It's kind of random,” Jennifer Benito said.
The Benito and Castillo family know one thing: they love their kids.
“She's brought so much love to not only our immediate family but to everybody who meets her,” Jennifer Benito said.