Three-year-old MacKenzie Stimson is enjoying her time at Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre.

School provides positive learning environment

Three-year-old MacKenzie Stimson is a happy child, who is beginning to add more and more words to her vocabulary.

Three-year-old MacKenzie Stimson is a happy child, who is beginning to add more and more words to her vocabulary and will wait patiently in line with other children when the situation calls for it.

But she wasn’t always that way.

MacKenzie’s mom, Tricia said her little girl was always a happy child, but she few words and often demonstrated hyperactive behaviour.

The speech delay and the hyperactive activity led the parents to seek a professional diagnosis.

“She was diagnosed on the autism spectrum,” said Stimson.

In September MacKenzie began attending the Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre.

Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre is a charitable organization that provides hope to children with special needs, the families that love them and the communities that care for them. Aspire provides diagnostic and assessment services (Transdisciplinary Assessment and Consultation, or TAC), and a specialized preschool (EASE, Early Access to SupportiveEducation).

For the Stimsons, who live at Meridian Beach, the school proved to be most beneficial for their little one.

“She is now talking in small sentences and is learning what’s expected of her in social situations. She is definitely learning to be more social. And she loves it there.”

Stimson said the staff at the school is also helping her daughter feel secure and deal with change by using small, baby steps.

Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre is well known in Red Deer and Central Alberta, as a place where families who have children with special needs can find answers, support, and connection.

To help with funding, the annual evening of decadent dessert, the largest fundraising event of the year, will be held on April 29, at the Pidherney Centre, located at 4725 43 Street, Red Deer. With the help of the community, the goal of raising $130,000 can be reached.

The evening includes a champagne reception with live entertainment, buffet dinner, several raffles, and a silent auction, as well as a live auction of the locally made cake creations, and of course of, the incredible dessert buffet.

The second prize is a 14-blue diamond dinner ring valued at $8,000. The third prize is a cash reward of $2,500. For more information or to buy tickets check out