Inclusive Playgrounds Offer Kids a Place to Grow

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Article by Colorado Parent Magazine

Colorado Parent Highlights the Importance of Inclusive Playgrounds

October is sensory awareness month. Colorado Parent magazine highlights how inclusive playgrounds give kids like Elijah, who live with Sensory Processing Disorder, a place to play, grow and connect. 

Mandi Darr, mom of Elijah, shared that "on the playground, Elijah is a leader...We pretend to be animals, astronauts, or book characters. The playground becomes the great equalizer for all kids to have the same freedoms."

Read a selection of the article:
When Mandi Darr’s son Elijah was born, she knew almost immediately that something was different. For his first 48 hours of life, he wouldn’t stop crying. “Physically, there was nothing wrong, but I don’t think he slept at all in the hospital,” Darr, a Denver mom of four kids, ages five to 14, remembers. The doctors sent the family home, thinking that Elijah would eventually calm down. He didn’t.

With help from the experts at the Centennial-based STAR Institute, Elijah, now 8, was diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), meaning that his brain was misinterpreting everyday sensory information like light, sound, and movement.

The STAR Institute talks in depth about the brain/body connection and how play helps activates the joint and muscle receptors to get rich information to the brain.