Tulsa Daycare Wants Playground Suited For Special Needs Children

Friday, June 12th 2015, 11:05 pm
By: News On 6

When it comes to playgrounds, all kids aren't always on equal ground.

One Tulsa daycare is hoping to change that for the 40-plus children they serve, and the representatives say the help will go a long way.

The Special Kids Learning Center is one of the few places in town geared toward providing care for children with special needs, but when it comes to providing outside enrichment, the center falls short, according to Fundraising and PR Manager, Abbie deVera.

"They deserve the best and I just felt that we were lacking out here,” she said.

The outside space isn't much of a playground, with only a few toys scattered here and there, but until something better comes along, it'll have to do.

Four-year-old Braydon can run around with the best of them, but running and riding isn't something all kids who go to the center can do.

"He has spina bifida, hydrocephalus, neurogenic bladder," said parent Kari Allspaugh.

Just like other children who struggle with special needs, mobility issues or are in a wheelchair, all her son will be able to do is watch while others play.

"You don't think about it. When you're building a playground you think of an average child and you don't think of a special swing that a wheelchair can slide onto a ramp and swing on you don't think of lower heights or more safety precautions," Allspaugh said.

About 40 kids are enrolled in the daycare, but when playtime comes they line up to use one swing; deVera is hoping to change that.

The goal is to raise $15,000 to turn the space into a play area with the equipment and environment to suit all the children's needs.

"Being outside is so important for them, for their sensory, for their therapeutic needs. Some of the kids act completely different out here, their personalities are completely different, they are calmer, they are more grounded," she said.

The plan is to create cement ramps that will allow kids in wheelchairs to move about freely and install wheelchair accessible swings along with other sensory activities.

If you'd like to help them reach their goal, you can visit the Special Kids Learning Center's website.