Tonea Parker owner of Day Adventures And Kidz Night Out is fully aware of the struggles that families who have autistic children are going through, for she too has a child who has Autism.
Tonea recently secured a center that is for all children but is especially designed and ran to provide the many needs that autistic children have. Her center is called Day Adventures & Kidz Night Out, of which she plans to have centers across the United States.
Tonea Parker’s background is in business and fashion of which she was a professional international runway model. Now she is a very strong advocate for children, who was successful in her fight to have her daughter’s school implement the GFCF diet ( gluten free and casein free) . Some of her many accomplishments are the following: nominated for the Georgia Impact Award in Atlanta; mentor for Parent To Parent of Georgia; on the Advisory Board Panel for the Special Educations Needs for Children. She supported the Autism Speaks Walk and her center by having a booth, walking and raising money for the awareness of victory over autism, and hopes to be a part of their legislative committee.
I asked Tonea Parker when did she receive such a passion to help Autistic children?
” In life we think that we have it all planned out, but God guides you where you are needed. I had an unexpected pregnancy of which my daughter was born a preemie, 28 weeks old. I went through years of my daughter being misdiagnosed, and then finally was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which is a form of Autism. I decided to have an at home program where children would come to play with my daughter. Parents loved it, and suggested that I open up a center.”
What are challenges that a parent who has an autistic child faces versus a parent who does not?
“The biggest challenge would be the financial aspect of it. It is an expensive form of disorder because many things are needed, that even good insurance companies do not cover. You have to constantly battle the school system to get them to provide the additional needs of which a lot still do not provide. The school system is very limited in terms of what they are able, or willing to offer for children of special needs. A family who has an autistic child, has to do an A step, then B step and C, etc. just to complete a simple daily task.
What can this center offer that is different from what is already being offered, and when will you open?
“At Day Adventures & Kidz Night Out, I can provide the needed tools not only for my daughter, but for all children and parents, in house at one location.
First of all a GFCF diet. Because of my professional background, I had extensive training in having a healthy diet, and fitness program, so it was natural for me to look into the healthy food aspect to see if this would help my daughter, and it did. I saw such an improvement in her attention span, and being calm.
I like to say that we will provide a little place of heaven for these children, everything from start to finish, the curriculum, having a low ratio of children to teacher, more one on one attention. Most of our teachers will have background in special education. Everyone who is part of Day Adventures & Kidz Night Out center will have additional training in Autism, and dealing with children of other challenges as well, and constant on going training. They will be CPR Certified, First Aid Certified. We will have specialists who will come in to access where each child is at, and what is needed to get them to the next step.
We will also have an excellent Art and Music program which is vital in helping these children. The environment plays a huge part in the development of these children, for it helps them to remain focus and calm to allow them to learn to the best of their capabilities, so we contracted our painting out to Wilcox Paint And Design LLC, who specializes in Calm Colors, http://www.wilcoxpaintanddesign.com.
At this center we are not trying to get these children to a place of minor improvement, we are striving to get these children to have major improvements. We believe that every child deserves the right to resources that will help them be successful in society, and life, to us, each child as an individual, with individual needs. We also have a Parent Out Program, for parents who need to leave their children on short notice.
The center is not limited to children with challenges. We cater to all children. We have an advance after school program, of which one of our programs focus on combating Obesity in America. Our special Saturday program will have professional athletes, fitness trainers who will conduct work out and fitness programs for the children, and teens.
Our center Day Adventures & Kidz Night Out is located at Camp Creek, 3220 Butner Rd Suite 200 and 210 Atlanta, GA 30331 of which one side will be an after school center that will be non-profit. The whole Center is 5100 sq ft., funds are still needed to complete the inside construction. We are pushing for July 2011. We thank everyone for their interest in Day Adventures & Kids Night Out. “
If you are interested in supporting, you can make your check, or money order contribution to TPK of Atlanta / Kidz Night Out and mail it to 2451 Cumberland Pkwy Suit 3326, Atlanta, GA 30339 or call 678-743-4135. Their website is http://dayadventureskidznightout.liveonatt.com/
There will also be an up coming fund raising event. The fund raiser will include Professional Athletes, NFL, NBA paraphernalia of which 10% of the proceeds will go to the March of Dime. Call Tonea for more information at 678-743-4135.