EMC Community Service Award helps further the services of SenseAbility Gym

Tim Butler

Tim Butler

EMC Engineering

I am honored to be the recipient of the 2013 EMC Community Service Award. That EMC has an award to recognize community service shows its commitment not only to philanthropy, but also to its employees.

My wife Alysia and I have three sons, Griffin, Henry, and Leo, who are 11, 7, and 4 years old now. It was about four years ago that Henry was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I recall that news was both a challenge to accept and at the same time a relief. I saw it as a piece of the puzzle of understanding my son, which often seemed harder than it should be. Henry also has Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), which is often seen in children with ASD. That additional diagnosis was another piece in the puzzle of understanding, though I know I’ll never find them all. My youngest son, Leo, also wasballs diagnosed with ASD. While he is similar to Henry in many ways, his differences are even greater, exhibiting in a sample size of two how broad a spectrum ASD really is.

Alysia has developed a strong network of local moms of children with special needs, having started a support group shortly after Henry’s diagnosis. In her group, she found tremendous support, especially from her friend Tina Periello, who wanted to join her as a partner in what would become the non-profit SenseAbility Gym. Much of the next year was spent developing all the details and acquiring the 100% volunteer staffing that proceeded to the February 2013 opening in our hometown of Hopedale. 

The mission of SenseAbility Gym is to provide a safe, parent-directed sensory gym and therapy space where children can play and accommodate their sensory needs. The benefit of this type of play is that it provides sensory input that can help children with special needs regulate themselves. There is no other facility in central Massachusetts that provides these services in a safe, suitable and accepting environment. SenseAbility Gymhanging is relying on donations and grants, and on income-sensitive fees paid by families who will use the space. No one involved in the organization is taking a salary. This generous donation from EMC will enable SenseAbility Gym to purchase additional therapeutic equipment as well as help with the general operating costs.

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The mission of SenseAbility Gym is to provide a safe, parent-directed sensory gym and therapy space where children can play and accommodate their sensory needs. The benefit of this type of play is that it provides sensory input that can help children with special needs regulate themselves. There is no other facility in central Massachusetts that provides these services in a safe, suitable and accepting environment. SenseAbility Gym is relying on donations and grants, and on income-sensitive fees paid by families who will use the space. No one involved in the organization is taking a salary. This generous donation from EMC will enable SenseAbility Gym to purchase additional therapeutic equipment as well as help with the general operating costs.

Over the past year I’ve contributed untold hours of volunteer time for the gym. .  Being recognized for my work is a tremendous honor and I am grateful for EMC’s support.

The Gym’s website: http://www.senseabilitygym.com

Tim Butler

Tim Butler

EMC Engineering

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