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Learning center for kids with autism opens in Fairview Heights

Trena McCoy said she saw the need for such a facility after her son Mason, who has autism, was physically abused at a local school

FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. — A one-of-a-kind center for children with autism in the Bi-state is about to open its doors. 

Mason's Place Too will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon. The facility is a learning center for children on the autism spectrum.

The facility has bright, colorful classrooms, filled with sensory equipment to help kids develop. It will feature two teachers with master's degrees in special education as well as specially trained aides.

The center will feature after school programs, social skill classes and even a summer camp in June and July.

Trena McCoy is a nurse and the founder of Masons Place Too. She said she saw the need for such a facility after her son Mason, who has autism, was physically abused at a local school.

"I just want a parent to feel like their child is going to be safe," McCoy said. "When they drop them off at Mason's Place, 'OK this is another parent, not just a person who founded a facility, or CEO or whatever, co-founder. This is a parent who really gets it.'"

Classroom cameras will monitor the different rooms inside that center, so parents can check on their kids.

McCoy said she paid for the center out of pocket, and none of it came from any government aid.

The ribbon-cutting ceremony is 11:30 a.m. Thursday at 125 Ruby Ln., Suite 2.

An open house is from 4 – 7 p.m.

McCoy said she's always looking for more sensory equipment. For more information about the center – or for information on how you can help out – visit its website, masonsplacetoo.com.

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