I was recently able to chat with Christiane Rogers, owner and founder of the Sensory Fun and Playroom here in Fort Wayne and currently located inside of Abundant Life Church. It is a large sensory room housed within 1500 square feet inside the church. They offer walk-ins as well as scheduled appointments with a therapist and consultations with Christiane, the owner. In addition, they also host birthday parties, field trips and open houses and held a Trunk or Treat Fundraiser on October 21. The organization has been open three years and recently reached one year as an established nonprofit and was blessed to receive two grants from the AWS Foundation.
Christiane has an early childhood background and has run her own childcare centers both inside and outside of her home over the past 15 years. Her passion developed over time as she would serve various children with disabilities but also as she discovered her son had a disability himself. As we talked, she said she wishes there was a sensory space like the one she has now for her son when he was younger. “I was prompted by God to open this to serve people in our community through my organization,” says Rodgers. Through her sensory room, she has created a space for movement and touch as a part of the activities. She wanted the space to be perfect and created it herself over time. Through her journey and studies, she eventually wants to also be a behavior consultant.
Her space operates with volunteers, herself, and one staff person. Open gym days are Thursday and Friday, 4:30-7:30 and Saturdays 12-3pm. Admission to Open Gym is $6.50/person.
When we talked, she discussed her trunk or treat fundraiser and how she is looking for a new building for more visibility. She also looks forward to hosting a gala sometime in 2024.
You can visit their location at 3301 E. Coliseum Blvd Ft Wayne IN 46805. You can also call 260-444-6009 or Email: SensoryFunAndPlayroom@gmail.com
Additional details from their website:
By supporting the entire family with Christ at the center, our mission at Sensory Fun & Playroom strives to make a difference and offer a lasting fun-filled experience for the families of children with disabilities, essentially providing a safe, sensory stimulating play environment that is therapeutic and fun.
Our facility is an easy access walk-in kids’ playroom, sensory gym, and recreation area, designed specifically for the needs of children with disabilities. Materials and activities are provided for sensory, exploration, discovery, and creativity.
One of our many goals is for therapists to come into this space for their 1:1 sessions with their clients to conduct therapy. Our facility does not have therapists directly on campus at this time, so independent therapists are welcome to use our facility and location for Music Therapy, Art Therapy, Developmental and Occupational Therapy, Recreational Therapy, and ABA Therapy.
Therapists are able to engage in meaningful therapeutic activities that aid in the progress, health, well-being, and learning of each individual. Please use our online booking page to schedule an hour session.
Child Care is not available in our facility; however, trained staff are available to assist if needed, or upon request. Children are to be assisted and supervised at all times by a care-giver or guardian. A de-escalation area is available to prevent harm to an individual child and others attending our facility.
This column is sponsored by The Fort Wayne Ink Spot, a black-owned Indiana newspaper focusing on regional and national stories, especially those impacting African Americans and minorities. This collaboration with The Waynedale News aims to promote diversity, inclusivity, and appreciation for the local black community. By representing all residents’ voices, unity and understanding flourish. Follow FWIS on Facebook and Instagram, or find a retailer at www.fwinkspot.com.