STERLING HEIGHTS, Mich. — A mother in Michigan tried to look for a place where her child— who has autism— can play freely without being judge by others. She didn’t find any. So she made one herself. According to Shell Jones whose son was diagnosed with autism at age two and a half years, she searched for a long time for a space that would accommodate her and her family who were affected by autism. After finding no such place she “decided to develop the community” herself.
Shell came up with the idea of Play Place, a place that hopes to be more than just a playground for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) where they can be themselves, and will be accepted for who they are. With the help of a dedicated team of local business, local contractors, and sheet metal workers, Play Place started becoming a reality. The team intends Play Place to be a safe haven not only for children with ASD, but also for the families who care for them. They also want it to be a place where they can relax and not have to worry about others.
According to Northern Detroit Development Group Vice President Damian Shabowsky, who is also a parent to a child with ASD told that the space wile be a ‘judgment-free zone’: “Every other person that will be in here will in the same shoes, in the same boat that you’re in.” Play Place hopes to open its doors to the public by the end of the year, and by then, the team expects that the place should already be equipped with an art studio, a computer lab, and a haircut hut, as originally planned. According to Shell:
“There’s so much more than just idle play.” “It’s purpose driven play that gives you that balance of normalcy. And the ability to socialize and just have fun and pick up life skills, vocational training, and resources for the parents and the child.”
Play Place has gotten so far with the help of the team working to build it, as well support and donations from the community. Shell told:
“We’ve gotten so much community support and I’m just overwhelmed with gratefulness.”
“We need to step up to the plate and give back to the locals and the things we need to take care of.” “There’s a lot of other foundations and places out there that could use our help, but something that’s near and dear to my heart, my son’s autistic, so this one’s really close to home.”
Interested parties who wish to support or inquire about Play Place may visit http://www.autisticplayplace.org/ or call (586) 254-6533. Source: My Fox Detroit:Play Place for children with autism is more than a playground