First Exceptional Exploration held in Lafayette

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A special group of children, with special talents, visited the Imagination Station in Lafayette on Saturday. However, because all of the children have some sort of special need, their talents may be harder to find.

“We don’t want to close off any potential or possibility to our young, because we never know what their talents might be,” Bridges of Indiana Regional Office Manager Bill Glick said.

Lafayette is home to the newest branch of Bridges of Indiana, which services people with a wide range of disabilities.

“Our youngest consumer right now is a 6-year-old boy with autism, and our oldest consumer is a 60-year-old woman who has some cognitive impairments,” Glick said.

Other Bridges of Indiana branches have held Exceptional Explorations, an event that gives children with special needs a chance to get into a fun yet educational setting.

Lafayette’s Bridges of Indiana held its first Exceptional Exploration at the Imagination Station Saturday.

“In Terre Haute [and] in Evansville, there are much larger facilities. But apparently from the way our young people are participating, no more exciting or fun than the Imagination Station,” Glick said.

Bridges partnered with another special needs advocacy group, The Arc of Tippecanoe County, for the event. Cari Carpenter is on the Arc of Tippecanoe County Board, and took three of her children to participate in the event.

Carpenter said since the museum is closed to the rest of the public, it gives the children more confidence to explore.

“For some of our children to be able to come into an environment that is already rich in sensory, along with a full museum, is overload for them,” Carpenter said. “So, for them to be able to come into a museum while it’s closed, and have participants be able to explore freely is huge.”

Glick said based on the fun the children had he plans to keep the event going in Tippecanoe County.

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