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Love Park, IL: Sensory gym for kids "with documented special need" hosts open house

Sept 17, 2022, Loves Park, IL, MyStateLine: Loves Park group catering to kids with autism holds open house

The Superhero Center for Autism had an open house Saturday morning.

It was a chance for families who have a child with a documented special need to benefit from a sensory gym experience.

“I think the community that it creates is really great because it can feel isolating, but it is really nice to have those people…. who understand what you are going through,” said Belvidere residents Paige and Dan Kazy-Garey.

Paige and Dan have three kids, and one of them was diagnosed with autism a year ago. They decided to check out what the Superhero Center for Autism was all about on Saturday.

“And it is nice to walk into somewhere, it is truly welcoming, specifically designed with their needs in mind,” they said. “Just seeing the kids’ reaction, it was enough that they were all excited to come in, you know, have the different activities, have that free space.”

Dustin Smith, president of the center, said that there is no other place like this that is geared towards children who have a disability.

“It’s a place they can come, they can play, they can be around like-minded people and just really have that freedom to have a place that is kinda their own,” Smith said.

Smith said that it is a safe space for individuals with autism and other special needs and their families. They can get support, access to education and other resources.

“That is what we are having today, a chance to get more families in here and a chance to show people that we are here and here for them,” Smith said.

Paige and Dan said that they are happy they found a place, and new community, to walk with them in this journey.

“To create that community and find kids who are struggling the way that they are or dealing with the difficulties that they are coming and going with too,” they said. “So, I think it is a good thing for the family all around, so we will definitely be coming back.”

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