During this time of national mourning for the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, we honor the children and staff of the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our hearts, prayers, tears, and hugs go out to all the parents, families, and friends of those who we have lost. The embraces we send them through our hearts say much more than the mere words jotted here.
We also wish to convey our understanding of anyone who may be frightened or upset—and now leery—about anyone who has Asperger’s syndrome or is someone with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. We offer training and classes to help neuro-typical people understand, in some small way, what it is like for our brothers and sisters on the autism spectrum.
We do not wish anyone to fear or put these children and young adults into one category because of the events of December … Read More »
Running to make a difference
5K run raises money for special needs scholarships
October 7, 2012
By Michelle Horst
Journal staff writer
SHENANDOAH JUNCTION - For children with special needs, Bonnie Zampino created a place for them to go, and now she is raising money to provide those children a way.
A Special Space opened in Charles Town on Aug. 22, and is a before-and after-school center for children all along the special needs spectrum. Zampino, the president and founder of the center, said that she has heard from many parents who are interested in her program, but are unable to attend due to financial constraints.
“I have been approached by moms who are homeschooling their special needs child, and they would love for their kids to be able to come to A Special Space for socialization, but cannot afford it,” Zampino said, adding that many parents … Read More »
First Therapeutic Child Care Center Opens in Charles Town
Charles Town just opened a therapeutic child care called A Special Space, helping kids with special needs and their hard-working families.
By: Dana Chicklas
Updated: August 21, 2012
CHARLES TOWN, WV — Charles Town has opened A Special Space, a therapeutic child care center that helps kids with special needs and their hard-working families. It’s a special space for special kids, just like third grader Brendan Zampino.
“I really care about people,” says Brendan Zampino, a third grader.
“He’s amazing, I mean he’s my hero,” says Bonnie Zampino, the founder of A Special Day day care in Charles Town.
There was no day care around town made just right for kids with Autism until his mother, Bonnie, founded one herself.
“In order for success, you need to find a need and fill it and that’s what A Special Space … Read More »
Please bring a friend and the kids and join us on Tuesday, August 21st at Zion Episcopal Church Parish Hall located at: 221 E. Washington Street, Charles Town, WV 25414.
Our dedication and open house of A Special Space Center for school-aged children will be held from 10 am until noon. Food, tours and a chance to network with others in the community will make this a morning to remember! We are looking forward to seeing you there.
Yesterday I was told by my employer that, upon learning that A Special Space Center was becoming a reality, they will terminate my employment on the day the center opens.
So at this time, it appears that my job will end on August 22nd.
This was a very personal and poignant reminder of why I started A Special Space.
Parents of special needs children have a very hard time holding a full-time job. Employers are not aware of and often not interested in the special challenges present in the lives of families with special children.
I have been the HR Professional at my company for 3 1/2 years. During my tenure, I have had my hours cut and been demoted solely due to my son’s autism and the mental and medical care he requires. My story is not unique.
A study, published in the March 19 … Read More »
A Special Space, Inc. is a non-profit therapeutic child care and development center for children with autism, other special needs, and their typically functioning peers. As the first childcare center to design and tailor an environment and program for children with developmental disabilities, the mission of A Special Space is to offer 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, communicative and recreational needs alongside typically functioning peer models.
We will be opening our doors on August 22, 2012 at Zion Episcopal Church in Charles Town, WV for school-aged children, ages 5 through 12, for before/after school care, school closures and summer programs.
We are in great need of classroom items for A Special Space Center. … Read More »
We are happy to announce our grant supporters!
CVS Caremark supported A Special Space by providing a Community Grant in the amount of $1,000.00. Faith Weiner, the Sr. Director, Community Relations, wrote:
We wish you all the best in the year to come and hope that our level of support and commitment will enable your organization to achieve the goals you have defined.
A Special Space thanks CVS Caremark for their support for the mission of A Special Space and the community we serve! Because of their support, we will be able to purchase technology and learning software to help our children learn and develop social and motor skills.
To learn more about CVS Caremark and their grant programs, visit them at their web site: http://info.cvscaremark.com/community/our-impact/community-grants.
The Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation has graciously bestowed a $5,000 grant to A Special Space from their Berkeley County … Read More »
Advocacy isn’t the main purpose of A Special Space. Education for both NTs and those with ASDs is our focus. But after reading one too many stories today about bullying and abuse of special needs children by teachers, advocacy and education have combined.
It’s time to educate my state and the nation about the importance of giving a voice to those who have none. It’s time to advocate for cameras in the classrooms.
Teachers are an amazing gift to our children. They work hard, love our kids, and guide them on their journey in life—most of them. The few that make the news are the ones who are burnt out, stressed out, under-educated, under-supported and have no business in the classroom. They, the few, are hurting our children and giving other teachers a bad name.
For the protection of our children and the teachers, it’s … Read More »
For a few weeks now I have been working on developing “Experience Autism”. I want to create a training module to simulate, as much as possible, the autism experience to take into the schools. By sharing the sensory disorder and fine motor issues and visual distortions experienced by people on the spectrum with teachers and fellow students, I hope to bring not only awareness, but also understanding and therefore acceptance and compassion.
My amazing friend and partner in this, John Catlin (www.johnccatlin.com), worked with me on this. We read many first person accounts from those on the spectrum who have taken the time to try to explain to us neuro-typicals what it feels like to experience sensory overload. We watched numerous videos created to share the experience.
Based on what we read, John created a short video showing the difference between what neuro-typical … Read More »