You don't have to go far to get your child with special needs involved in the right sports program. We did the legwork for you. Here are some highlights in our area:
Camp Site Friedberg JCC, Oceanside
(516) 766-4341; www.friedbergjcc.org
Children 6 - 12 can participate in on-site swimming, outdoor play, sports, water play and much more. Includes kosher lunch and snacks.
(631) 367-1646; www.horseability.org
This camp includes on-site swimming, horseback riding, swimming, indoor/outdoor sports, arts and crafts, circus workshops and more for ages 3 1/2 - young adult.
Gersh Academy at West Hills Day Camp
(631) 385-3342; www.gershacademy.org
Camp serving children 5-16 diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and other related neurobiological disorders. Activities including swimming, sports, rock climbing, mini-golf and more.
Gymboree Play & Music
Plainview, Woodbury, Westbury, Oceanside, East Northport, Oakdale, St. James
Their Sensoree Kids class, led by an occupational therapist and a Gymboree teacher, places an emphasis on helping children 3-6 with sensory processing difficulties to cope with sensory stimuli in their everyday lives. Parents participate and are invited to bring their child's own therapists.
10 Aerial Way, Syosset
(516) 827-0500; www.gymnastique.org
Offers a special needs gymnastics program for children 4-12 with learning disabilities involving autism, speech or occupational and physical delays. Participants gain strength, agility, flexibility and improve social and gross motor skills in a positive and nurturing environment.
KISS (Kids in Special Services)
Mid-Island Y JCC, 45 Manetto Hill Rd., Plainview
(516) 822-3535; www.miyjcc.org/kiss.php
Sports (and other activities) for high-functioning children with developmental and/or learning disabilities such as language delay, ADHD, Asperger's and autism spectrum disorders.
Mastic Sports Club Sports For Special Needs
(631) 399-1550; www.masticsportsclub.com
A sports-based program designed for children with special needs and disabilities that provides the basics for participation in sports including hockey, baseball, basketball, soccer and bowling. Kids play to their own level while developing important socialization skills and learning about peer unity through team play.
My Shine Program
Sweet Hills Riding Center, Melville
(516) 551-1491; www.myshineprogram.com
A therapeutic equestrian program for ages 3 and up that includes a half-hour group lesson, riding, grooming, tacking and games on horseback. Riders consist of individuals on the autism spectrum, with Down Syndrome, Fragile X-Syndrome, mild forms of Cerebral Palsy, learning disabilities, ADD/ADHD, Sensory Integration Dysfunction, emotionally fragile, hearing- and vision-impaired, and low muscle tone.
Find special needs sports programs in other areas.