Lisa Fruhstuck is a speech pathologist who, with two decades in the field of early childhood intervention, has spent the past five years developing the idea behind The Shine Shed. The Shine Shed is the first and only play centre in Australia to cater to the needs of children and young adults with any kind of disability, including autism. It encourages participation from anyone who wants to join in the fun, including siblings, family and friends.
The Shine Shed is a very safe and secure place, with excellent visibility so that parents can relax a little, and there is a kiosk with great coffee and snacks to enjoy during the visit. “Children disabilities face barriers to education, development, social and leisure opportunities that other children simply do not. We don’t think that children living with disabilities have the same opportunities as other kids in Australia right now, but that can change,” said Lisa.
“We are extremely proud that The Shine Shed is Australia’s first play centre to explicitly cater to the needs of children of all disabilities and ages, including young adults. Parents of disabled children have been crying out for a play centre that is suitable for children with different abilities.”
Differing to other play centres in a number of ways, The Shine Shed is designed to make sure that people with disabilities feel comfortable and not overwhelmed. It also provides the added benefit of helping children and young people feel accepted and included, which allows people opportunities to form friendships, as well as giving families a chance to connect and support each other, which is important in making sure families don’t feel isolated.
A whole team of therapists and well-trained staff are on hand to assist families using the facility and provide support if it is required.
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