Creating a safe environment for children with special needs to play and enjoy their free time is important; a playground in Zelienople, Pittsburgh did just that. Originally created for a nearby program with 60 students the playground was created with the idea that all children on the autism spectrum have unique needs.
The playground’s creators strove to incorporate design features that responded to unique challenges facing the special needs community. For example in order to address sensory concerns, they wanted to create an environment that was calming so they did not add any bright and vibrant colors. Along with paying close attention to sensory concerns, individuals with autism could have a feeling of pressure or extra weight on their joints. Equipment that allows you to stretch was incorporated. Encouraging socialization is also very important a few pieces of equipment require two people to use, encouraging team work and socialization.
Playgrounds like this are popping up across the country with the help and encouragement of individual communities. It is a giant step in the special needs community, so that every child can experience the same joys of childhood.
For more information and resources on planning for your loved one with special needs, browse through our website at specialneedsforum.org.