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Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry Welcomes Special Needs Families

October 3, 2010

Guest Posting

by Robin Berlinsky,  Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry

The first Sunday of each month, is magical at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry in Charleston, SC.  Since October of 2009, the popular museum at 25 Ann Street shuts its doors to the public and opens its arms to families of special needs  children.

 The program is called Super Stars and began as Medically Fragile Mondays, a program that invited children from The Medical University of South Carolina’s (MUSC) Medically Fragile Unit to come to the Museum when it was closed to the general public on Mondays.  Throughout the course of the program, Museum and MUSC officials determined that there was a real need within the community to reach a larger audience of children with a wider variety of special needs.  Families needed an ongoing program that offered structured, nurturing activities for children each month and a gathering place for them to share their challenges with other families. 

The response has been excellent, with the number of participants growing each month.  The Museum’s original partnership with MUSC’s Medically Fragile Unit has been expanded to include the Rex Program, MUSC’s STAR program, Adaptive Gardens horticulture therapy program, and the Special Olympics of South Carolina.

The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry works tirelessly to help children develop a love of learning and a belief in their own potential.  During Super Stars—a two-hour program held one Sunday each month—this mission takes on a special, new dimension. Children with special needs gather at the Museum to learn about the world around them while developing the social skills and confidence in their abilities that ensures their long-term success.  “The simplest things at the Children’s Museum encourage interaction, promote self-confidence, and strengthen a child’s problem solving skills,” states Renee Cochran, an Early Interventionist with Easter Seals.


To identify and invite participants, the Museum partners with MUSC’s Medically Fragile program for children with immune deficiencies and physical disabilities, with MUSC’s STAR program for children with severe emotional challenges, and with the Rex Program for autism. Together with Museum staff members, MUSC therapists and specialists ensure that Super Stars offers developmentally appropriate and stimulating activities for participants and their families.

During each Super Stars program, participants have the opportunity to explore the Museum’s exhibits with other children with special needs.  Each month, a different supplemental program will also be offered such as horticultural therapy, Special Olympics training, or activities for children with autism.

The Super Stars program has had particular success serving as a resource for families. For children with special needs and their families, isolation is all too common.  During Super Stars, while their children are enjoying structured and nurturing activities, parents are developing a support network and reducing feelings of isolation.

Check out the program on the First Sunday of each month at the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, 25 Ann Street Charleston, SC.

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