Suffolk
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South Setauket Center Helps All Children Feel ‘Loved to Pieces’


Love to Pieces, an enrichment center for children of all abilities, recently opened in South Setauket. The center is geared toward children on the autism spectrum.

 

love to pieces special needs enrichment center

Love to Pieces aims to provide a safe place for children to learn, explore, and play.

Love to Pieces is a new enrichment center for children of all abilities, but is tailored toward children with autism. Owners Dana Planz and Angela Domenech, who are both special education teachers, say they noticed a lack of enrichment centers that had experience dealing with children who are on the autism spectrum. This inspired the duo to open a facility geared toward children on the spectrum.

“The ultimate goal is to have children feel comfortable and accepted,” Domenech says.

The way the owners achieve this is by making the center a safe place for children to learn and explore. Everything is labeled for the children, and the facility has weighted lap pads and stuffed animals that are calming to all children. There is an iPad station that allows children uncomfortable in social settings to still be in a social atmosphere without being overwhelmed. Children are also allowed to go wherever they want in the facility, and Planz and Domenech even keep toys in their office.

The center offers various mommy-and-me classes, a sensory kindergarten for children ages 4-6, and free play. Parents who enroll their children in the center’s classes are asked to fill out a questionnaire describing their child’s strengths and what they need to improve on. This helps the center cater the classes to each child’s specific needs.

While tailored to children with special needs, the center is open to all children.

 

Lizzie Empey

Author:

Lizzie Empey graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in print journalism, where she regularly contributed to school publications including The Universe, The BYU Political Review, and TWO Magazine. Empey was an intern with NYMetroParents in summer 2014.

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