The park with healing powers for children with disabilities. “A world of sensations that educate the senses”

A huge park for children with disabilities will be set up in the Botoșani municipality, which will have new facilities and arrangements for motor and sensory stimulation. Between them, a musical fountain in colors. It is the first sensory park in Moldova and the second in Romania.

Ferdinand Botosani Park PHOTO Cosmin Zamfirache

The number of people with autism spectrum disorders is constantly increasing in Romania. According to statistical data, there are currently over 30,000 Romanians who suffer from autism. In other words, one out of 51 children in Romania is diagnosed with autism. The therapy required for a child with autism is very expensive. That is, from 150 lei per hour, at least three to four hours a day. The situation is delicate especially in areas where the population has little financial power.

In Botoșani county, there are around 300 children with autism, diagnosed and registered. There are also, especially in poor rural areas, children with various disabilities or who may be classified as autistic, but undiagnosed.

Some of the families in Botoșani barely manage to do weekly therapy with their children. And this despite the fact that there is no free public center or facility for therapeutic activities.

Precisely in this context, the Botoșani authorities want to set up, with European funds, a sensory park intended, in particular, for people with disabilities.

“It would be a godsend for us. We could give the child hours of free therapeutic activity, especially when it's nice outside. Every minute of therapeutic activity is essential“, confesses the mother of a child with autism, from Botoșani.

Five thousand square meters of sensory stimulation

The local authorities want to set up the sensory park through cross-border funds, a project that involves municipalities from Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova, but also the border counties, including Botoșani, Galați and Baia Mare. Out of a total of almost nine million euros, Botoșani is entitled to 3.5 million euros for investments.

From these funds, the mayors want to rehabilitate three parks, a school and a monument. In addition, with the same money, Ferdinand Park, a charming public garden around the City Hall building, will be transformed into a sensory park. It would be the first public sensory park in Moldova, and the second in Romania after the one set up in Bucharest last year. The space is generous, being about 5,000 square meters, with walkways and huge trees. In this area, installations or spaces will be set up for sensory and motor stimulation, with different textures or that offer a varied range of olfactory, tactile, auditory sensations.

Artesian fountain with sounds and colors

Among the park's most original sights could be an artesian fountain with sounds and colors, ideal for sensory stimulation. Most likely, the already existing artesian well will be converted. In addition, as stated by Bogdan Buhăianu, the deputy mayor of Botoșani, there will also be projections.

The representatives of the Association of Parents of Autistic Children from Botoșani say that they were waiting for such a project, being a real opportunity for children.

“It is an extraordinary thing that we have advocated and suggested more than once. It is very important for children to enter this world of sensations that actually educates the senses and has healing power“, says Gabriela Ivan, president of the Association of Parents with Autism from Botoșani.

“Besides having this public place that can be accessed for free, the park would be important in terms of benefits. For the whole community, whether they are children with or without disabilities. Simply put, a place to relax and stimulate the senses. Ideally, this place would be specially designed for all types of disabilities”says psychologist and speech therapist Laura Dănilă.