Heartland help: A toy library for special needs children in Punggol
SINGAPORE: At first glance, the toy library at a Punggol void deck looks like any other children’s playroom.
But look closer, and there are differences. The rubber mat that lines the floor also climbs up the wall, as tall as a child, a sequined backdrop shines attractively, and there are little textured squares that look tempting to touch.
The difference is that the room is being designed with special needs children in mind. It is the hope of the volunteers that the room will lend a safe space for social interaction for children with conditions like autism and other developmental issues.
The room has yet to open to the public, with the final touches being put in.
The seed was planted when Member of Parliament for the Punggol West ward Sun Xueling spoke to parents with special needs children in her ward. When she asked the parents what activities they bring their children out for, they said they often keep their children at home and play with them in that known, safe environment.
Ms Sun was saddened to hear that, she told Channel NewsAsia. “That sparked off an idea to start a toy library where children with special needs can play together, where they can also play with children of other abilities and their parents can find mutual support,” Ms Sun said.