Special Needs spotlight: Lane Brouillette

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen
Lane’s family hope that the Kidz Kove park will represent a place of love and acceptance for all children.
Photo provided

Meet the Brouillette family, Dad-Craig, Mom-Dianna, and six year old son Lane. He loved preschool and is proud to be going to kindergarten this year. He has conquered several medical challenges including acute renal failure, heart surgery to repair a congenital heart defect, and chemotherapy for leukemia. Also, because of the gross motor delay that comes with Down syndrome, Lane started walking much later than his peers. He found it difficult to navigate a typical playground with kids his age.  This made it difficult to make play dates with friends, which most times were shortened due to Lane's decreased stamina and intolerance of the heat.  The shade areas and water mister palm trees will enable Lane to stay at the park for longer periods of time.  Lane's parents are especially excited about the social interactions Kidz Kove Discovery Park will provide for him.  This will encourage understanding that we all have different abilities. Just the experience of playing stimulates speech, which is delayed in children with Down syndrome.  Sensory equipment provided at Kidz Kove Discovery Park will be of benefit to Lane because he learns better through visual and sensory input.

Lane has had a tremendous team of therapists, physicians, family and friends who support and challenge him to achieve the best life possible.  This park for Lane's parents will represent a place of love and acceptance for all children, just being children, and playing with each other in a safe haven.

Project Kidz Kove is making amazing leaps and bounds toward their goal of building an all accessible playground in Gonzales. More than 20,000 children in Ascension and the surrounding parishes will benefit from this ADA approved play space. Not only for children with physical disabilities, this park covers it all, complete with educational panels and quiet areas for children that are easily over stimulated. Donations may be made to Project Kidz Kove at: P.O. Box 179, Brittany, LA 70718, or for more information, please call 921-0380.

“Each child is special in their own way.  We are challenged to nurture our young to represent the values of life mentally, physically, and emotionally.  Special needs children face additional challenges that they and primarily their families share each day.  Franz Peter Schubert said it perfectly, “Some people come into our lives, they leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same”.  This is quite apparent when you have the opportunity to meet any of these children and families for the first time.  Historically, Gonzales and our Parish have always recognized the value of providing a quality of life for all.  The proposed project will allow all kids to enjoy a quality of life that our community intended to. Our hearts have truly been touched by the sacrifice, commitment , and heartfelt appreciation of our families and our community toward this ambitious effort.  Let us all commit ourselves in meeting this challenge entrusted in us!” Glenn and Glenda Shaheen