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A Go West Mom You Should Know: Jackie Olson of Haley's Playground

Our latest Go West Mom You Should Know is Jackie Olson of North Aurora. Olson, 42, is an occupational therapist with three sons. She also has a 6-year-old daughter with autism who is the inspiration for “Haley’s Playground Inc.” It’s an organization that provides sensory and motor stimulation classes for children and young adults with disabilities and seeks to improve their quality of life through play, exercise and health education while interacting with friends, families and peers.

Jackie Olson with her 6-year-old daughter Haley. Photo provided.There will be an open house at Haley’s Playground this Sunday from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the North Aurora Activity Center, located at 1 North Lincolnway. If you’d like to attend, or have questions beyond what you can gather below, please email Olson at jolson@haleysplayground.com.

Read on to find out why we think Olson is a Mom You Should Know.

Q. Can you tell me more about Haley’s Playground – exactly who the organization is aimed at and how it operates?

A. Haley’s Playground Inc. is a non-for-profit 501c3 charitable organization established in April 2011. Our mission is to provide a safe healthy environment for individuals with physical, cognitive, and social disabilities; to improve their quality of life and meet their significant needs through play, exercise, sensory activities, training, mentoring and education for success while interacting and providing education to their families, friends, peers, and members in our community. We service ages 2-30 years.  It is an organization of individuals who volunteer their time and talents to give back in our community. Starting in 2012, we offer respite and tutoring services.

Q. What inspired you to open Haley's Playground? 

A. Kids with disabilities need a place to go where they are accepted and their families are accepted.  A place they can learn and grow to play with others.  A place where they can have fun and be with peers who accept them. A place to call their own.  A place where they can learn social skills, play skills, and practice making good choices.

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