As the mother of an autistic child, Christine Case-Lo knows how hard it can be for parents of children with special needs to find appropriate educational programs and recreational activities for their kids.
That's why Case-Lo co-founded the Learning Challenges Committee -- an organization dedicated to helping special needs parents carve a path for their children through local public schools -- and its why she has organized the Learning Challenges Resource Fair, scheduled for this Friday, Jan. 31, at Crittenden Middle School.
The fair, which is set to run from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., will give special needs service providers a space to showcase what they have to offer -- such as summer camp programs for children with learning disabilities, specialized toys and games, tutoring services and legal advice.
"When you have kids with special needs, you only have so much time to be able to devote to other things," Case-Lo said, explaining that the idea of the fair is to collect a wide variety of local special needs resources in one place at the same time for the benefit of the local special needs community.
This is the second Learning Challenges Resource Fair that Case-Lo has organized. The first, held two years go had 38 vendors and 150 parents. "That was actually a really big success," she said, adding that she hopes this event will draw people in similar numbers.
The fair is free and open to anyone. Case-Lo encouraged all parents of special needs to children to come. "Anyone from kids who have mild issues to kids with sever disabilities who need a lot of special accommodations," she said. "We just want to make this as easy and open for everyone."