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April 9, 2012 / Rick Swann

Seattle Children’s Playgarden

This last weekend I dropped by the Seattle Children’s Playgarden, which several people had told me about. This is the blurb from their web site: Liz Bullard, Executive Director and the heart and soul of the PlayGarden, has worked with hundreds of children with challenges such as autism, cerebral palsy, and hearing or vision impairments. Watching as these children and and their parents work day by day to help their children succeed. Days filled with appointments, therapies and doctors. A schedule so intense, most adults would buckle under, and at the end of the day, these hard working kids deserve an opportunity to play. Children with special needs don’t have the same choices as typically developing kids. Children with cerebral palsy cannot access play equipment, even if the park itself is accessible. Children with autism don’t heed common dangers in parks that are not fenced. Parents of children with special needs often leave an outing in a park discouraged and exhausted. What can be pure pleasure for most kids can be a nightmare for families with children with special needs. The PlayGarden is a place where children of all abilities can come and play, simply play outdoors with their friends and siblings in spaces that are accommodating, nurturing, and encourage their potential.
Both the garden component and the playground areas look great. I especially loved the topiary!

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