March 30, 2022
St.Amant autism classrooms help preschool-aged children with autism develop important life and social skills – and they couldn’t do it without donors like you.
Melanie’s daughter Scarlett is a student in one of the classrooms. Scarlett is glad to be there, but Melanie wasn’t sure at first, “This is the first time in her life that she isn’t with me, that anyone else watches her.” Melanie felt at ease as soon as she opened the door to the classroom; seeing beautiful bright colours, new toys and welcoming faces. From that day forward, she’s been watching her daughter bloom in a safe space.
“It’s such a welcoming, big space, a really nice classroom with fun colours, it’s so inviting. Even behind the masks, you can see the staff smiling through their eyes.” Melanie says.
There are St.Amant Autism Classrooms located throughout the city. Your donations furnish the classrooms with equipment, tools and technology that help advance each child’s development and growth.
Equipment may look like… a balance board, a wiggle cushion or a chair that assists with sensory needs…
It’s hard to learn and listen if you’re uncomfortable and your senses are overstimulated. Each student in these preschool classrooms has the chance to create a learning environment that feels right for them. Scarlett can try many different seating arrangements, spaces and places to figure out exactly what she needs to feel safe and ready to learn.
Melanie shares how every new discovery at school, also helps at home “Staff let us know that she really loved this egg chair, a small chair that spins and closes with a little shade, it helps her regulate throughout the day, so much so- we bought one for home. She loves it. She can concentrate, she feels safe; it makes a big difference for her.”
Tools may look like…. a play kitchen, a sensory bin or a fidget toy…
Scarlett has the opportunity to play with toys, like a play kitchen, that inspires imaginary play and creates opportunities to develop social and emotional skills. Skills that, her mom shares, are already making a difference, “She used to spend 80% of her time at home by herself in her room. Christmas morning, family dinners, she didn’t partake. She was alone. It was heartbreaking. Now, she spends 80% of her time with us, as a family! She’s having fun, we’re having fun together. As a mom, I can’t tell you how it fills my heart.”
Technology may look like… an iPad or a smart board…
The smartboard provides an interactive opportunity for Scarlett to hear stories, and learn about feelings, all while developing communication skills. Thanks to this technology and dedicated staff, she’s starting to speak and learn new words. Her favourite word right now is happy.
Melanie can’t get over how her daughter is coming out of her shell and shining “When I pick her up from the classroom she yells out ‘happy!’ When we’re at home she runs around saying ‘happy!’ To hear your child speak, and not only speak, but share that she’s happy. I can’t put into words how grateful I am!”
To put words to Melanie’s gratitude, thank you! Your donations bring bright colours, important equipment and most importantly, happiness, to children and families.