Published June 11. 2021 12:21PM
The AllOne Foundation awarded local nonprofit Turn To Us a $50,000 grant to open the Spectrum Sensory Gym in Nesquehoning for children diagnosed with autism and their families. Ninety percent of children diagnosed with autism also experience sensory processing disorder.
Autism spectrum disorder refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication.
Alicia Kline, the founder and executive director, of Turn To Us and its board of directors, wants all to know the goal of the Spectrum Sensory Gym is to have children expand on the necessary skills learned in occupational therapy. We want children to realize and express their authentic selves. Life typically happens to them, which becomes frustrating as the child feels they are not part of life on their terms.
The Spectrum Sensory Gym provides a safe space for children with autism to play and grow at their own pace while bonding with their parent or guardian. The sensory gym offers swings, therapy balls, crash pads, slide, tunnels, climbing walls, trapeze, balance beam, seclusion castle, and many more pieces of equipment.
The sensory gym will nurture independence, limit social stress, provide health and fitness benefits, and increase the child’s social skills and self-esteem.
AllOne Foundation works to enhance the present health care delivery system of Northeastern and North Central Pennsylvania and to be innovative, creative and collaborative in crafting new ways of improving the health and welfare of the people in this region.
The mission of Turn To Us is to provide autism and cancer support to individuals and their families from Carbon County and Tamaqua in a hopeful and compassionate environment. The Spectrum Sensory Gym was made possible by St. Luke’s Miners and AllOne Foundation.
For more information about the sensory gym, other programs, or to make a tax-deductible donation, call 570-732-4220 or visit TurnToUsInc.org.
Pictured are Alicia Kline, executive director of Turn To Us Inc., and John Cosgrove, executive director of AllOne Foundation. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO