I’ve always been aware of my learning disabilities. In second grade I started attending the “Disability Resource Center” (DRC) for tutoring. During grade school, leaving class for DRC was fun. That changed in middle school. Any kid attending DRC was an easy target for bullying.
Most of us have great childhood memories of making gooey mud pies, having friends and siblings bury us in the warm sand at the beach, squishing jello through our fingers instead of eating it, and smearing soapy bubbles all over our face during bath time for the facial hair effect. Not all children have those memories, and if they do, they are not always pleasant. Autistic children often struggle with sensory issues, the sense of touch being just one of those that can be a struggle in everyday life.
As teachers, we try to teach students by engaging as many of their senses as possible. For autistic children that can sometimes mean having rough day in school. Ironically, one of the ways to help a child work through that is by exposing them to areas that are challenging to them. This April, for Autism Awareness Month, Engineering For Kids Central VA will be hosting an event for autistic children and their parents to provide an opportunity for kids to experience engineering through their senses.
Our goal, for this and future events, is to provide parents with an opportunity to meet with each other for support and networking and offer autistic children a time to learn about engineering, make new friends, and continue to work on sensory areas they may struggle with. Activities may include chemical engineering, where they will make solutions and mixtures, mechanical engineering where they will build toys and roller coasters, as well as robotics.
Please check our website for the upcoming date and time in April!
Dara Dawson and Sara Butler are the owners of Engineering For Kids of Central VA. They began their business two years ago after nearly 20 years of classroom teaching.
Happy 12th Birthday to our son
We love you as big as the whole sky
You are the kindest soul, unable to lie
You are so sweet, so funny , so kind and pure
I have come up with a few “gifts” our Special Needs child continues to teach us, for us it is Autism , many others have a different need at home with their child(ren) , but we all gain strength and give strength in all we do every day!
When we first opened Sky Zone at the very end of 2013, we were quickly surprised to see how many families began coming with different special needs. We started hearing feedback from parents and kids that being active and jumping around our trampoline-walled playing courts was improving focus for jumpers with autism, helping expand the comfort zones of some jumpers with Down Syndrome, and many other positive responses in between. It got us thinking and led the managers to a long discussions of how we could open up the park to better accommodate those most special jumpers.
We knew that while we keep our music up during the day, it could be an issue for some jumpers.Step 1 would have to be to get the music down, or off. We also had talked about wanting to give a bit more attention to each jumper, so adding a few extra Court Monitors and a few extra managers to keep an eye on the event would be important as well to maximize safety the of the jumpers. We quickly knew we needed some professional advice so we looked around and found some really helpful folks in town.
Have you heard about the Deep Run Marathon Dance? I have been fortunate enough to experience this first hand as I have had two children attending Deep Run. This Dance changes lives each year, not only for the local organizations chosen, but for the students who participate and learn so much!
This event is at Richmond Raceway and is a day full of fun for families . There are tons of exhibitors , including camps, places to go, toys and more. Samples of all kinds are offered and most are local to RVA.
Welcome to 2015! With the New Year comes six to eight weeks of Virginia winter weather. Very cold days, rainy cold days, and even worse for most parents… the dreaded snow day. Here is your Virginia winter weather tool kit for inside activities to help with movement, heavy work, and self-regulation to make those snow days successful and FUN!
What is Jacob’s Chance?
Jacob’s Chance is a non-profit organization that promotes programs to benefit intellectual and physically challenged youth and families. We are developing a community center for teens 11-25 years old that will promote socialization while providing a safe atmosphere.
You may know us better by the primary program our non-profit organization runs, River City Buddy Ball. River City Buddy Ball is in its 6th year of operation. The mission of this program is to promote wellness through exercise and establish relationships between participants with disabilities and volunteers (peer and adult) through athletic programs. River City Buddy Ball began with a baseball program and has added basketball, cheerleading, tennis, soccer and flag football over the past two years.
My wish to you is the happiest start to a NEW YEAR! I want this site to be your source and site for all things Special. I am thrilled you are here. The first issue was so well received and loved all the feedback . The beauty of this site is that it is growing and changing constantly to meet the needs of our community. You matter and what you want this site to bring , share and offer is what I want it to be for you.