For families with special needs children, the Aspire Special Needs Resource Centre in Red Deer has all their bases covered.

The charity, which held an open house Wednesday evening, provides services across three branches.

First, the trans-disciplinary assessment and consultation program. It's where parents who suspect their children might have a special need, come to have them diagnosed. 

Then there are individualized services where families can access professionals like speech pathologists, psychologists, occupational therapy, behaviorial specialists and Family Support for Children with Disabilities supports.

The resource centre also operates a preschool for children with various conditions from September to June.

Visitors quietly toured the building, which features spaces like its multi-sensory room, preschool gym and classrooms.

But executive director Michelle Sluchinski says, there's usually plenty of activity occurring.

"Normally it's very busy. There's kids and staff and people around, moms and dads. It's still early in the year so moms and dads might want to come in and observe through our observation windows," Sluchinski says.

The resource centre has been in existence for more than 30 years and serves about 350 children every year. Half are on the autism spectrum. Their needs vary, from hearing, vision, speech to chromosomal.

Sixty staff work at the facility.

"It's a very fun and rewarding place to be during the day," Sluchinski says. "When I see our staff, team coming to work, doing their best, it only motivates me and makes me feel privileged to work as part of their team."

Families access the services for minimal fees, Sluchinski says. For those that can't pay, there's a fee assistance program.

The province covers 79 per cent of the centre's annual costs. The balance is fundraised, about $400,000 per year.

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