LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The St. Nicholas Center for Children in Lake Charles has been helping kids with autism since 2008, but after the center was damaged during Hurricane Laura, those children have gone without therapy now for a month.
The outside of the St. Nicholas Center for Children almost appears to be untouched. However, 95 percent of the inside of the building including their technology, therapy materials and furniture are a total loss.
“We looked at our building, and we’re like, this is great, there’s not much damage,” Outreach Director Tausha Kordisch said. “What we couldn’t see from standing on the ground were the holes riddled across the roof and the sections of roof that were actually missing.”
Kordisch said the entire inside of the center is environmentally unfit for anyone to be inside of it right now.
The damaged building leaves many autistic children without a safe space to learn and have fun.
Kordisch knows first-hand how difficult this can be on the kids and their families.
“It’s very difficult for a family with children who have autism to be displaced and not have their regular therapies happening,” Kordisch said. “What you need to understand is children with autism, they crave structure and routine, and that’s been taken away.”
That’s why the staff is working tirelessly to rebuild the center and offer a temporary solution.
“We were blessed by Dr. Casci. He has donated a piece of property that we can use temporarily to put temporary sites on so that our children can start coming to therapy.”
The temporary location will have classroom learning pods so kids can attend therapy. The staff hopes to have that up and running in just a few short weeks.
For the time being, they want families to know they are here for them.
“You have a family of people to help support you and help make it through together,” Kordisch said. “So, we’ll be here, and we’ll be together very soon.”