By Annie Rose Ramos

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — A special needs school in Towson held an opening ceremony Thursday for a long-awaited playground that provides a unique educational experience for students with autism.

The playground at the Arrow Center for Education Tangram was specially designed for the students, Sarah Weitzel from the school explained.

It will be used as a tool for them “to practice their skills in a nice and safe environment with our staff before so they can go out into the community so that they know how to play outside of our school,” she said.

Other public playgrounds at parks or schools focus on younger kids, but not this one. It’s fenced in to promote individual learning and can serve students between the ages of seven and 21.

There’s a balance beam and a platform on springs — “They have to work on their core muscles to stabilize themselves,” Weitzel said — as well as adapted swings who have more physical restrictions.

“Some of our kids find swinging really calming,” she said.

Also included is something called a nature find.

“It’s kind of like a hide and seek so you can build language around that like… ‘Let’s go find the bumblebee, let’s go find the butterfly,” she explained.

The playground is already open and not limited just to the school’s students. Those interested in bringing their own child to enjoy it can contact the school’s principal, Mark Rapaport, at Mark.Rapaport@Arrow.org or call 443-798-6310.

Annie Rose Ramos

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