Gigi's Playhouse to open doors for children with Down syndrome in Little Rock

Gigi's Playhouse to open doors for Little Rock kids

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- A nonprofit coming to Little Rock is hoping to change the lives of people and families living with Down syndrome.

Gigi’s Playhouse is coming to Little Rock next fall according to board member, Johnny Hewett. 

“So many times when these children and adults are diagnosed with down syndrome they're sometimes shunned and this gives them a place to feel wanted, a place of acceptance, and a place where they can learn,” he said.

He said it's a nonprofit organization aimed towards helping people with Down syndrome.

“We won't only help children with Down syndrome, it'll be a facility with children of all needs,” he said.

The playhouse not only gives them a place to play, it offers over 30 different programs for free.

“It's an advancement center, they offer them classes, speech therapy, different learning course,” said Hewett.

Six-year-old Emma Lin Ambeau was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth. Emma Lin loves to run, jump on the trampoline, and play the piano, but most importantly she loves to dance.

Emma Lin’s mother, Patricia Ambeau, said she can't wait for GiGi's house to open.

“When Emma Lin was born we didn't really have anywhere to turn, with GiGi's we will have a physical location to go," she said. "Families can come in and first learn to accept Down syndrome, because that's the first step, accept the diagnosis. Then, they can learn to love and embrace it."

She said it will give families like hers a place to go and feel accepted.

“It's going to advance a visions for everyone to accept people of all abilities and that's what's most important for us,” she said.

On October 7, at Maumelle Park, GiGi’s Playhouse will be holding a benefit walk and 5K to raise money for the move to Little Rock.

You donate and find more info on the benefit walk here: https://gigisplayhouse.org/littlerock

© 2017 KTHV-TV


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