Caring Strategies responds to children’s needs with community events
Posted at 12:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 19, 2022
DESTREHAN — Caring Strategies, a local non-profit organization, offers a range of holiday-themed events to meet the needs of children in the community with and without disabilities.
Knowing that something as simple as a trip to the library can be a hassle for families of children with special needs, Sandra O’Brien, Director of Caring Strategies, aims to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment that makes fun learning.
Community events for children up to age 7 promote sensory play, language development and gross motor skills.
O’Brien, a 32-year-old former special education preschool teacher, has experience and certifications in autism assessment, art therapy, health coaching, and developmental milestones.
“I find that children now have a lot of sensory needs. We tend to do a lot of sensory activities just to expose them early,” O’Brien said. “Some of the events we organize are aimed at children with and without disabilities. We want all children between the ages of 2 and 7 to participate and promote inclusion.
This Saturday, Caring Strategies will host a Monster Mash event at the St. Charles Destrehan Parish Library, engaging children ages 0-6 and their families in language and sensory learning.
Although registration for the Monster Mash event is full, families still have the option to register for the Caring Strategies Young Athlete event scheduled for 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, October 29 at the Edward Dufresne Community Center in Luling. . This gross motor “trick or practice” introduces and develops appropriate motor skills for children ages 2-7. Therapists will be on hand to answer questions and offer to sign up to bring motor skill kits to local schools and daycares. Registration is available online at caringstrategies.net for children with and without disabilities.
On November 10, Caring Strategies will be at the German Coast Farmers Market from 8 a.m. to noon to share information, resources, and awareness of the needs of our children in St. Charles Parish. The Early Intervention Team will also be selling “FUN” learning kits for breeders at this event.
Registration opens by November 1 for a special Sensitive Sensory Santa event for local children with autism, sensory processing challenges and other special needs. This event is for children of all ages with disabilities and will include additional stations for cookie decorating, arts and crafts and other activities.
“We hope that everything we do will provide not only learning, but also fun and an opportunity to have fun,” O’Brien said. “I think it’s nice to belong to a community and know that other people are going through the same things as you. It’s not so much a therapy, but a community event.
Caring Strategies is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to provide learning opportunities that support all members of our community. Strategies for creating educational programs and environments facilitate the active engagement and learning of children at home, in schools and throughout their community.
“Our events, trainings and other resources are in and around the community – we are always open to events and activities to help you, your family or your business include children in our parish activities,” O’Brien said. .
Although the organization is supported by United Way of St. Charles, donations and volunteers are always needed.
O’Brien hopes to expand the events beyond St. Charles Parish to St. John and the rest of the River region. In the past, Caring Strategies has hosted playgroups at First Baptist Church in LaPlace.
More information, including registration details and time slots, can be found on the Caring Strategies Facebook page, caringstrategies.net, or by emailing email@example.com. `