All kids and parents need a place where they can feel comfortable.
Lake Forest, CA (PRWEB) April 05, 2014
Many kids with Autism have a hard time fitting in. However, one gymnastics facility in Lake Forest believes the process for kids can be made a little easier. Us Too Gymnastics offers kids with special needs gymnastics classes to help gain confidence, learn social skills, body movement and development every week. After a free trial assessment, the child is placed in the best class to help them succeed. Whether it be a one child to one instructor environment, a small group with an instructor or a class with typically developing peers, each child is set up for success. “Kids with Autism cannot be expected to progress unless they are given sensory and social tools necessary for successful integration into typical development classes,” said Dena Lusardi, owner of Us Too. “Here is where children can learn those essential tools.”
Dena Lusardi knew firsthand what it was like to not have her child accepted into a recreational program because he was different. Dena’s child, Dominic, has autism. She wanted him to have the same opportunities as other children and be part of an extracurricular activity; however, at the time she was unable to find one. Being a gymnast growing up, Dena felt she could make a difference and create a place where all kids would be accepted for their differences. In 2004 the dream of Us Too Gymnastics became a reality.
All kids and parents need a place where they can feel comfortable. Parents need a time where they can relax and not feel like they are constantly being judged by others because their child is having a meltdown or is just having an off day. At Us Too Gymnastics we understand what every parent is going through and are skilled to respond to all behaviors. While the children are in class, parents are able to talk to other parents whose family dynamics are similar, which in turn creates a wonderful support system.
In 2013 we decided we needed to take it to the next level! We have given kids with special needs a place to participate in a gymnastics class that is tailored to their specific needs. Progression cards were developed specifically by the staff to help children progress from a “one on one” instruction into ideally a typical developing class setting without any help. While it is understood that not all kids will transition to a typical developing class, it is ensured they will progress to the best of their ability. Us Too is the only gym that is for both special needs children and typical developing children.
Carson is an example of a child with autism who after his initial trial was determined that he would benefit more from a typical developing class than a small group special needs class. His mom felt he would not fit into a competitive gymnastics facility, but he continues to be successful in the class with just a little extra help and patience from our coaches.
Katie started at Us Too when she was just 8 years old. She came in with severe developmental and sensory integration delays, which required extensive one-on-one attention. Now, at almost 16 years old, she has progressed successfully into a typical developing class setting. While her physical skills may not be at the same level, her social skills have developed to allow her to fit in with her typical developing peers. Her mom Sylvia says, “It brings tears to my eyes when I think of everything Us Too Gymnastics has done for Katie. I never thought she would come so far; they never gave up on her. To see her participating in a class with typical peers and seeing that she is happy and able to keep up, is just amazing.”
About Us Too
Us Too Gymnastics was started in 2004 by a mom of a child with autism that found a need for recreational programs for kids with special needs. Dena Lusardi founded Us Too Gymnastics in 2004 in honor of her son Dominic Lusardi who was diagnosed with autism. In 2013 she took Us Too Gymnastics to the next level by offering typical developing gymnastics classes. They had already put together a transition program for kids with special needs children, but now they have classes these children can transition into and Us Too could make sure these kids would be successful.
Us Too Gymnastics
25 Spectrum Pointe Dr Suite 405
Lake Forest, CA 92630
For more information on our program, go to:
http://www.ustoocenter.org or call us at (949) 716-1970