The McDonald Family Resource and Discovery Center is located at our Administrative building in Ballston Spa. It contains sensory equipment, books, computer and dvd’s as well as a lending library of materials for children and their parents. Since the number of children that have a diagnosis on the Autism Spectrum continues to increase, we have found it is important to have resources available as more schools are integrating sensory equipment and technology into their classrooms. Parents and family members are becoming more aware of these sensory needs and technology, and how they affect their child’s behavior throughout the day.
It is designed to incorporate the stimulation of senses using lighting effects, color, sounds, music, scents and touch. The multi-sensory items help children with sensory limitations learn to relax and self-heal. They are used as a means of nonverbal communication to provide stimulation for people who are otherwise almost impossible to reach. It gives children and their parents a place to escape from the pressures while providing a bridge to link skills learned in a school to their home and community environment. Also, we utilize the space for our Social & Recreation Program, Sibshops, Autism Support Group, Educational Advocate and Family Education & Trainings.
The McDonald Family Resource and Discovery Center was named in recognition by all of the support we have received from the McDonald family. As Grandparents of 2 boys who have Autism, Roy and Angela believe it is imperative to have essential services for children with developmental disabilities and their families. They both have worked hard to enhance and expand these vital services. Angela volunteers a lot of time as a Board Member and a participant on our Autism Task Force. As our State Senator, Roy was instrumental in securing numerous Legislative Grants for our Family Support Services. In particular, an allocation we received in 2010 funded the furnishings and some of the electronics for The McDonald Family Resource and Discovery Center. Roy had spearheaded Autism Symposiums throughout the state and led to our involvement in a Regional Forum. This gave families, friends and caregivers of individuals living with Autism the opportunity to address a panel and gather information about how the state Legislature can best support and assist communities and families.
For more information, please contact Sarah Slagle, Assistant Director of Community and Family Support, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-587-0723 ext. 1254.