February 28, 2008

My dream: The Dreamstation

This is a dream that I've had for a LONG time. I often drive by buildings that are for lease (like the old grocery story that's been vacated or the vacated exercise center that moved to a larger facility) and think..... oh, my....... that would work nice for my "Dreamstation".

My Dreamstation:

*** a "club", a "playstation", a "rec center" that is accessible to kids and adults who have been unable to access a playground, who have been unable to play in the McDonald's playland, who in no way can get on the typical exercise equipment you see at the "exercise club". With track lifts in the ceiling that would allow EVERYONE to go down the slide...... even if they are too big for a parent or friend to get them to the top of the slide without hurting their backs.

** a special place........ for a special person to bring a "regular" person/friend as a guest, a "privileged place" to be.

* a place where kids/adults can attend "classes" that are specially designed to be accessible....... like regular kids/adults who take classes at the YMCA or cooking or art classes at the community recreation center or community college. With switches, modified jigs, etc. to allow them to participate; for example switch operated blenders, TV's, talking books, a switch operated nerf gun. Computer classes that have the latest technology to allow kids to color, paint, write, talk...............

* a place where the closet is full all kinds of adapted bikes and trikes that could be ridden around the indoor track. And maybe checked out to families for their weekend bike ride. And of course the ceiling track lifts would be above the track, just in case someone needs help getting on/off the bike, or might want to use it with a "walking harness" so they can walk around the track.

*a place where a person could practice on our track, the skills needed to be safe as they venture into the world of power mobility (power wheelchairs, scooters, etc). 

*a place that provides special rooms (SNOEZELEN)that would quiet the mind of someone who is stressed and over-stimulated by our world and other rooms that would be designed to awaken and engage the mind of someone who has difficulty relating to our "ho-hum"(by their definition) world.

* there would be a room where kids/adults who have been limited in their ability to be "vestibularly stimulated" like all the young people you see, who are lined up for the rollercoasters and other carnival rides. This room would have all kinds of swings, and hammocks and special lounge chairs on bungee cords, and...... and...... and...... maybe even a flying purple people eater (can you tell I've thought about this often.  

* place where kids/adults/families could practice the things they learn in all the therapies that they have worked so hard to obtain. Maybe the therapists would meet them at the Dreamstation and help them design the perfect individualized routine.

* it would be a place where SCL (supported community living) workers or respite workers could take their clients for a fun time...... at the same time giving parents, the much needed break they deserve.

*we would have a volunteer club........ that would help us keep going. Like some retired engineers from Rockwell who would help us design new ways for our "club members" to do things not possible before an engineering type brain was put to the test. oh, oh, oh........ and some of those wonderful creative teachers and therapists that I've worked with who have a passion for these special people........ they would help us keep the "classes" new, exciting and inspiring. We would use a flyer like I received in the mail today (from our local community college) to stay current with "what's popular"...... like photography classes, ballroom dancing classes, scrapbooking classes, candle making classes....... adapting them to the needs of our "club members".

*and of course, a class near and dear to my heart:   Reading!  for all those previously labeled as non-readers.    And I'm sure there would be the Dreamstation Book Club.  Where each month there'll be a new book debuted........  maybe even some published by the newly discovered talent of our own club members!

* we would have "shows" to exhibit the talents of our new artists, musicians, actors, authors, etc.

* a place where being different would be celebrated
* a place where being different would be normal
* a place where being different would be unifying
* a place where being different would not be different
****A place where we ALL realize that it is being different that truly makes us all the same.

And of course, Nevin will be the manager of the "Pizza Shop" where everyone can have a bite to eat and a "green pop" while they take a break from all their activities.

There you have it: My dream................ The Dreamstation.

Of course, then I hit the reality of money :( So if any of you know of someone with lots of money, that they don't know what to do with........... have them give me a call. :)

*I can't stop........ I keep thinking of more things...... I keep editing my post!    feel free to add ideas in the comments section!

*we'd have overnight camp-outs!
*look out paintball courses....... we'll have our own nerf gun tournaments.


amy flege said...

wow... what a wonderful dream..... You know my dream is to start a GIGI's playhouse in Iowa.. maybe we could combine your dream and mine... now to find someone with lots of cash!!!!!

New Teaching Mom said...

Wow, I love every thought you've put into the Dreamstation! Do you play the lottery? We would definitely come up a few times a year to visit the Dreamstation!

Kelly Stone said...

Laurie, I love the way you dream.

mallory Congleton said...

I love it! I am a special education teacher in Alabama. I absolutely LOVE your dreamstation idea. I could only imagine the joy it would bring everyone involved. If I ever win the lottery or come across a ton of money I'll give you a call. You sound like a fantastic mother- an inspiration.
I also visit Nevin's photoblog- cute.
I have one too....photoblog/mdcongleton