Inclusive Perspectives provides sensory play space for children with special needs

June 7, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Gail Powell

Special education resource worker Tori Spiteri knows first-hand the lack of fully accessible play spaces that serve children with exceptionalities. This is one of the reasons she decided to open a new sensory place at the Orangeville Mall called Inclusive Perspectives.

It’s a welcoming, minimalistic safe play space with equipment for children up to the ages of 15 years old, to swing, sway, spin, sit, climb, and self-regulate.

“Everyone should feel that they belong in every space that they enter into,” said Spiteri.

“Inclusive Perspectives was started because of our son. He was diagnosed with ASD [Autism Spectrum Disorder] Level 2 in 2020, and we’ve spent the last 4 years trying to find spaces for him where he would not be overwhelmed or overstimulated. We decided to take it upon ourselves and create something that others could use too.”

Through research and conversations with other Orangeville families with children who have a variety of abilities and diagnoses, Spiteri and her husband, Jake, found that the closest sensory-friendly spaces were mostly in Oakville or Mississauga. Local families would often drive hours south of Dufferin County just to be able to offer their children a safe indoor play experience in a non-judgemental space.

“I cannot tell you the number of times that I’ve heard from families how they’ve struggled to find local inclusive places to take their children. We seemed to have a common conversation around a lack of services in our area,” Spiteri explained.

“Inclusive Perspectives wants to be a local hub of information for families with children of all abilities. I’d love to know of any local businesses who provide sensory options in their spaces so that I can then recommend these businesses to the families that visit our space. Maybe there’s a hair salon that specializes [in] working supportively with children on the Autism spectrum, or a restaurant that has sensory-friendly hours. These are things that our local families would love to be aware of.”

Currently, Inclusive Perspectives is able to host a maximum of 10 people at a time. Individual visits can be pre-booked or there’s a monthly membership option, however, walk-in visits are available too.

“Our online booking platform would be the best option for visits,” noted Spiteri. “For walk-ins, just call ahead to ensure we have availability.”

The Inclusive Perspectives space is located at the back of the Orangeville Mall, unit 113 and houses a gross motor area with various physio peanut balls, a small trampoline, sensory swings, a rock climbing wall and a floor scooter/hoverboard. There’s also a fine motor area with a wall-mounted busy board and a space with kid-sized tables and flexible seating. There’s a spot for skill development as well, such as math, reading and writing, plus a round sensory bin designated for water play.

Looking ahead to the future, Spiteri envisions that blocks of time will be appointed for multi-disciplinary professionals such as occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists or social workers – to utilize for private assessments.

For more information about booking, memberships and hours of operation, connect with owner Tori Spiteri at 519-216-1656 or visit the Inclusive Perspectives website at:

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