Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre in Red Deer hosted an open house on Wednesday to showcase their programs and services available to kids with special needs in our community.
It gave attendees a closer look at the organization’s spaces, technology and programs and services that improve the lives of children with special needs on a daily basis throughout central Alberta.
Executive Director Michelle Sluchinski says once-a-year they like to invite donors, parents and the community at large to continue their support of the organization.
“It gives them a chance to come in, see our building, where the work that we do happens and talk to us about what’s going on at Aspire,” she explains. “It’s a nice touch point to be able to chat with people and have a connection with them.”
Sluchinski says for those that don’t know, Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre has been in the community since 1985.
“It was started by parents who had children with special needs and those parents wanted to have services and programming right here in Red Deer,” she states. “So for all of those years, we have been accomplishing that goal. Right now I think we serve approximately 300 children every year, some of them are in the building every day, some of them are out in schools or in their homes.”
Sluchinski says they like to make sure families are supported in the process.
“If you have a question about your child, you’re not sure what’s happening, we’re the place to go to,” she exclaims. “We serve Red Deer but also central Alberta. For us, we just want to make sure that the people who might need us, know about us in the community.”
Sluchinski adds Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre has served thousands of families over the past 33 years.
“However, there may be someone new to the community or with a young family just sort of wondering ‘What’s happening with my child? Is this something that I need to address?’ “We want to make sure that those people know that we’re here.”
She says the children and families they serve have a wide range of needs that the organization can address.
“It could be an issue of speech,” she explains. “Perhaps you think that your child should be improving in their vocabulary or with their ability to speak. They might be suitable to join our specialized pre-school or perhaps there’s bigger questions that you need answered about physical movement or about developmental milestones that they may not be meeting, so we have a wide variety for sure.”
Sluchinski points out how proud she is of the Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre team of professionals that administer their programs and services.
“We have a staff team of 60,” she states. “They are experts in working with children and this is what we do every day, so please call us and ask. We are the community hub for children with special needs and their families.”
Looking ahead, Sluchinski reminds residents they will be holding their 25th Annual Evening of Decadent Desserts next May.
“That is amazing to have a silver anniversary of an event,” she exclaims. “The community has long supported us in that event and just around that event, so thank you so much. We look forward to a great time in the spring.”
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