New park engineered with disabled children in mind

Posted at: 07/07/2014 5:30 PM
By: Nikki Ibarra, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Bernalillo County opened a new playground Monday, and it’s unlike any other.

The North Valley’s La Ladera Park playground has jungle gyms and swings, but what makes it unique is that it was made for kids with disabilities.

Sarah Baca and her three boys spent Monday morning at the new park.

Baca said it was the first time, at least in a while, that she’s all of her boys have a fun time together at the park.

Four years ago, her 6 year-old son Prestyn was diagnosed with autism and so many trips to the park wouldn’t be fun, especially for him.

“At other parks, I mean, I was just, he would, you know, go down the slide and that was it. I mean that was the only type of thing that he liked to do and so he’d get bored really easy,” said Baca.

But at the La Ladera playground that’s not the case. That’s because it was designed for kids with disabilities and kids without.

“There’s a lot of things that spin here and he loves to spin and so that provides a lot of excitement for him and then, then also the swings. He can get on the swing by himself,” added Baca.

The equipment really focused on certain things, like sensory.

“The music. He loves the music,” said Baca. The playground is the first of its kind in the county. A place where Sarah’s kids can have fun together, and a place where she feels at peace, knowing there’s other parents who get it.

“They know. They get it. If my son is having a meltdown they, they’re not going to stare at him because they know exactly what is, what’s going on with him. They know that he’s just not having a tantrum,” added Baca.

The county said the playground cost about $180,000.