ANTIOCH -- The work is over; now it's time to play and learn.

After almost two years of renovation, Special Haven is reopening a bigger and better version of its multisensory room for children with special needs.

The nonprofit will celebrate the project's completion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, with a ribbon cutting, Lego playtime with Bricks 4 Kidz, and performances by Elite Dance Studio and magician John Gardenier.

The room is located inside the Intuitive Healing Center, 213 G St.

Assemblyman Jim Frazier, D-Oakley, will be attending Sunday's event.

"Special Haven is filling an ever-growing need for the special needs community in Antioch and the surrounding areas," Frazier said in a news release.

The multisensory room, the first of its kind in East Contra Costa County, now has a lot of activities and specialized equipment aimed at stimulating the senses of those with autism, brain injuries, behavioral issues and developmental delays. It helps encourage learning, improve a child's focus and builds self-esteem, said Christine Schwab, a Special Haven board member.

"It provides access for a very fun and soothing, therapeutic experience," Schwab said.

The $36,000 addition, which was made possible by a grant and training assistance from the Christopher Douglas Hidden Angel Foundation, includes bubble tubing from the floor to the ceiling, a ball pit that includes lighting, a tactile corner, color-changing fiber optics, a stereo system for music and vibrations and a waterbed with speakers underneath.


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The Antioch room is unique because it is open to the public, as similar rooms are usually attached to a school or hospital, Schwab said. The cost is $5 for a one-hour session.

For more information about Special Haven, call 925-222-5322 or visit www.specialhaven.org.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.