The playground will include active and passive play areas allowing children to engage in stimulating activities, and areas to which they can retreat and calm themselves after anxiety-producing experiences while remaining close by to other children, parents or caregivers.
Safety & Comfort
Perimeter Fencing will allow this playground to be a place of increased safety and independence for special needs children, while decreasing the supervision strain on caregivers and allow them to interact with other parents.
Rubber Surfacing Children with mobility issues should be able to access all types of playground experiences and be able to play side by side with children who do not have mobility issues.
Rolling Turf Gently rolling turf will allow imaginative use, offer soothing and calming body rolling, present calming visual aesthetic and spaciousness, and offer new sensations under foot for motor learning.
Natural Elements and Butterfly Garden Natural elements teach children about their natural environment and can also help calm an overly-stimulated child. Studies have found that nature helps children with ADHD stay attentive. A Butterfly Garden will visually stimulate, calm emotions and help children develop visual tracking skills.
Children develop spatial awareness by using their bodies to experiment with the relationship of self to the environment. Opportunities for this are provided by apparatus and materials to climb on, crawl under, jump over, and hang from. Children also like to hide in small spaces, crouch in corners, and squeeze backwards through holes as they experiment with moving their bodies in many different ways. This area will include tire swings, monkey bars and windowed tunnels.
Sensory Processing & Calming
Sensory Processing Disorder impacts the ability to process and regulate the senses and includes hyper-sensitivity to touch, vision, hearing, taste and smell, movement, problems with auditory filtering, low energy, and sensation seeking. Children with Sensory Processing Disorders may over- or under-react to sensation and environmental factors. A thoughtful playground supports a child’s developing self-regulation abilities.
Gathering & Social Support
Structured gathering places in proximity to areas offering respite and personal space encourage a child with autism to try social behaviors, knowing that they can remove themselves for calming if necessary.