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Play-Place for Autistic Children in Sterling Heights

Macomb County will soon have a recreational, educational and therapeutic facility for kids with autism and their families, which is set to open on Aug. 15, 2014

An innovative space for kids with autism and their families is opening in Sterling Heights on Aug. 15 – and it's promising lots of fun and an incredible community.

That's the vision of founder Shell Jones. As a mother of child with autism, she knows the rewards and challenges firsthand. In Michigan, there are more than 50,000 people with Autism, she notes – 16,000 of which are school-aged children.

Play-Place for Autistic Children

"We have a concentration of about 8,000 of those kids right here in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties," Jones says. When she noticed a lack of appropriate activities for her child that encompassed the entire family, Jones set out to create a facility to do just that.

Play-Place for Autistic Children is a recreational, educational and therapeutic facility. Splashed with color and tactile touches, this cutting-edge 25,000 square-foot space has a carousel, giant slide, swings – plus a computer café, movie theater, laser-light chalk room and haircut hut, all specially designed for kids with autism and their siblings, parents and caregivers.

"Every piece of equipment that's going to be featured in the center has some type of therapeutic or educational element," Jones says. "We basically provide a judgment-free, non-discouraging, safe place for families to come and enjoy some quality time together."

It's open to all ages – currently as young as 3 and as old as 52, Jones notes. "We're actually going to be running the center in the beginning; 50 percent will be volunteers. Our ultimate goal is to have at least 50 percent of the center ran by people with autism."

With the opening of the facility just months away, there are opportunities to get involved and help out by volunteering, fulfilling PPAC's wish list, or getting involved with fundraisers.

Old to new | New to old
Apr 16, 2014 04:21 pm
 Posted by  gammavee

Sounds like an awesome place.

Apr 17, 2014 12:33 pm
 Posted by  Autism Mom

I am looking forward to the opening of this establishment. My son is 9 and has Asperger's and I would love to take him to a place where he feels comfortable and does not have to worry about other kids judging him. Thank you and hope this place to be a very successful one.

Apr 29, 2014 01:51 pm
 Posted by  meema

Our family is looking forward to the opening of this wonderful place! My grandson has Aspergers, and so called 'normal' kids don't always understand why he says and does what he does. It will be great for him to know that no one will make fun of him about what interests him in life! His interests are so diverse, I am sure he will make new friends and will also learn new social skills while having a great time!

What kind of help do you all need? Where can I see this wish list?
My husband has a teaching back ground, and can totally relate to kids with ASD, he would maybe like to volunteer!!

Good luck and best wishes!!

May 3, 2014 03:55 pm
 Posted by  Sandie

From Windsor, Ontario and would give anything to see something like that here. I have a 9-year-old grandson with Autism and it would give me somewhere special to take him.

May 19, 2014 11:06 pm
 Posted by  ASDMOM

My family and I are so excited about this play place! We will be there opening day, with our 3 year old ASD. This is exactly what families with children on the spectrum have been waiting for.

Wishing you all the best.

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