Camp Puzzle Peace Officially Opens Family Autism Center

Camp Puzzle Peace Officially Opens Family Autism Center

Camp Puzzle Peace President Jen Hackett

Credit Veronica Volk / WXXI

Camp Puzzle Peace held a ceremonious ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of their Family Autism Center.

The 2300-square-foot facility on University Avenue provides room for play and education for families dealing with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Jen Hackett is the President of Camp Puzzle Peace. She says she's overwhelmed by the support of the community that made the center possible.

"It's actually kind of surreal. I really feel like I have to pinch myself because I can't believe that we're doing this. It was just an idea that we had hiking around in the mountains talking about this. And here we are. It's just such an honor to be serving and working with these families."

Kate Clemont is a mother involved in the organization. She says before Camp Puzzle Peace and the Family Autism Center, there was no place that catered to her 10-year-old-son's specific needs.

An art room at the Family Autism Center
An art room at the Family Autism Center
Credit Veronica Volk / WXXI

"He is verbal but developmentally he's only about three or four, even though he's ten. A lot of the programs that are out there are for the higher functioning kids. There was nothing really for the lower end of the scale and this has just opened a whole new world for him."

  Clemont says that Hackett has really been instrumental in helping children and families dealing with Autism in Rochester thrive.

"She's just an amazing person for the fact that she works full time, she does this in her spare time but is here every evening, all weekend. And to realize that there was a need out there and to actually be bothered to do something about it is amazing."

Veronica Volk/WXXI News

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