Who We Are
A Special Space, Inc. is a non-profit organization that offers teacher and caregiver training in the autism experience and therapeutic child development for children with autism and other special needs.
We are opening a therapeutic child development center to the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia in August, 2012. A Special Space center will give children on the autism spectrum and other special needs children the opportunity to participate in before and after school care and summer programs in an environment tailored to their special sensory, social, educational and recreational needs alongside typically functioning peer models.
A Special Space, Inc. has also developed an experiential learning module used for teacher staff development and for other training needs. This training is called “Experience Autism” and provides a unique opportunity for participants to actually “feel” some of what it is like to have autism. A Special Space, Inc. believes that this knowledge will promote understanding and the understanding will promote compassion.
What We Do
A Special Space center will provide care and support to children on the autism spectrum and other special needs of all economic backgrounds. It will enable them to interact with other special needs and typically functioning children in small group settings surrounded by the sensory stimulation that is unique to their needs.
We will provide caregivers who understand the special needs of the autistic community and can respond and treat accordingly.
A Special Space, Inc. will offer the following services:
- Before School Care
- After School Care
- Half-Day Pre-K Care
- Summer Programs
- Training for Caregivers
- Small Group Settings
Part of providing caregivers who understand the distinct needs of children with ASD is providing them with the training to understand. A Special Space, Inc. has developed a unique training program that leads the participate through a variety of sensory challenges often experienced by people on the spectrum.
This training is available for your school, church, business, parent group or childcare center. Contact us for more information.
Why We Do It
Currently, special needs children who have working parents are forced into child care models that are created for neurologically typical children and are both environmentally inappropriate for their special needs and which have caregivers who are unfamiliar with the physical, emotional, recreational, sensory and social needs of children on the autism spectrum.
A Special Space, Inc. believes that, instead of forcing these children to fit into these traditional child care models, they should have care that meets all of their needs.
Additionally, we believe that caregivers and educators who have actually experienced first-hand some of the challenges experienced by people with ASD will have more understanding and be able to find better solutions for those they care for. The Experience Autism training module provides this understanding for anyone who wishes to truly “walk a mile in their shoes”.
A Special Space, Inc. was founded by Bonnie Zampino, a single mother of a 7-year-old child with high functioning autism. She lives in Harpers Ferry, WV, and struggled with the absence of appropriate child care for her son in her community.
As a result of her frustrations and those of others, Bonnie formed A Special Space, Inc.