Saturday to be special

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By The Staff

The Family Strengths Network is valuable in many ways, but this month, things will get even more significant with an event called, Special Saturdays. The program is for parents raising children with special needs, which can be either developmental or physical.

The Family Resource Center, located at 1990 Diamond Drive and operated by Family Strengths Network staff provides the opportunity for interaction courtesy of Los Alamos National Bank.

Rebecca Hollis of White Rock is thrilled to have the opportunity for her child that is stress free from the parent perspective.

“It is so nice to have an activity in Los Alamos that I don’t have to request special permission for my child with Down Syndrome to participate in, fundraise for, or volunteer myself so she gets the help she needs. Although I am proud of the volunteer work that I do for my child and others with special needs, I am so glad to find something that is fun for her that gives me a break.”

The 10 a.m.-noon Saturday session includes a variety of activities from crafts, nature opportunities and story telling to the ever-important snack. Parents are required to stay on the premises, but are given the time to relax and reconnect with themselves. The Beth Ladino Resource Library is one option available with more than 1,200 titles in rotation.

Children ages 5 through 12 are invited to attend Special Saturdays, but enrollment slots are limited for the class. Parents and caregivers can find out more by calling FSN at 662-4515. The Saturday sessions offer different opportunities and some activities may be more appropriate than others. FSN staff members are more than happy to discuss upcoming session activities and instructor qualifications.

“Almost every organization I have encountered wants to accommodate children with special needs,” Hollis said. ”In practice, I have found that very few have the staff and the know-how to make that happen unless I can be there to help. Thank you, Family Strengths Network, for providing activities for my daughter with Down Syndrome that she enjoys without Mom constantly looking over her shoulder.”

Family Strengths Network is also supported by funds for a variety of programs through organizations like the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board, the United Way of Northern New Mexico and the Santa Fe Community Foundation. Visit www.lafsn.org for more information. The center is open from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.