Kiwanis Club of Falconer Donates Sensory Items to UPMC Chautauqua WCA’s Adolescent Mental Health Comfort Room

(L to R): Megan Barone, director of development, UPMC Chautauqua WCA and Trish McClennan, director of clinical services, UPMC Chautauqua WCA accept sensory donations from Mike Erlandson, president of Kiwanis Club of Falconer and Phyllis Belin, member of Kiwanis Club of Falconer.

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UPMC Chautauqua WCA

The Kiwanis Club of Falconer, as a part of a service project for Autism collected and donated sensory items for the Adolescent Mental Health comfort room at UPMC Chautauqua WCA. The club has continued to collect sensory items over the past few months. On November 22, members of the club made a delivery of puzzles, games, “hugs pillows”, material, and other items to the hospital.

Autism affects 1 in 68 children in the U.S. Autism, or autism spectrum disorder, refers to a range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication, as well as by unique strengths and differences. We now know that there is not one autism but many types, caused by different combinations of genetic and environmental influences.

UPMC Chautauqua WCA’s comfort room is designed to calm the senses and allow the child to experience visual, auditory, olfactory and tactile stimuli that will help that child. Not only does it help the child develop the skills needed to calm themselves while there, but also for when they return to the community to prevent aggressive or uncontrolled behavior.

The items that were donated by the Kiwanis Club of Falconer will help to provide the sensory items on UPMC Chautauqua WCA’s sensory cart which is used to calm the child’s senses.

“We couldn’t be more excited with the support we have received,” stated Trish McClennan, director, clinical services at UPMC Chautauqua WCA. “Understanding the needs of these children is so important when helping them learn how to develop the skills necessary to calm themselves in their own environment.”

Kiwanis International is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. Kiwanis and its youth-oriented Service Leadership Programs serve communities in more than 80 countries and geographic areas. New members are always welcome. if you are interested in learning about the many projects of the Kiwanis Club of Falconer and membership information please contact Gaylene Lindell at 483-6682 or Phyllis Belin at 665=5631 or Mike Erlandson 664-9841.

To make a tax-deductible gift to support the care and treatment of children at UPMC Chautauqua WCA, please contact Megan Barone, UPMC Chautauqua WCA director of development, at 664-8423 or Baronema3@upmc.edu.