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Brooklyn, NY: New gym for autistic kindergarteners

Sept 27, 2022, Brooklyn Reader: A Sensory Gym For Kids on Autism Spectrum Just Opened in Weeksville https://bkreader.com/2022/09/27/new-sensory-gym-for-kids-on-autism-spectrum-just-opened-in-brooklyn/

Brooklyn Kindergarten Society board members, members of the New York City Council and staff at the Weeksville Gardens Children’s Center were on hand Thursday, Sept. 22, for the dedication of the brand-new Fran Bernstein Sensory Gym, designed to be a space for guided play for children on the autism spectrum.

The gym is bright, colorful play area with “a variety of fun, hands-on and full body structured activities that provides students with skills to address learning differences and developmental delays,” according to the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society.

The Weeksville Gardens Children’s Center in Crown Heights is one of seven BKS facilities, and serves ages 3 to 5 with programs such as Pre-K and Head Start…..

“We hope to do the following in the sensory gym: increase childrens’ independence and ease in new social situations, raise tolerance to new stimuli, support communications skills and strengthen good self care habits and attention spans, and lastly, because kids learn best through play—through guided play on equipment that meets the needs of children, with learning differences—we can hope to improve fine motor skills, body awareness, cause and effect reasoning and social skills,” Jackman said.

Williamson said the new sensory gym was made possible by BKS donors as well as funding from the city council….

The new sensory gym at the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society's Weeksville Gardens Children's Center features things like swings and a rolling slide. Photo: Will Fritz

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