Many children with special needs CANNOT successfully participate in mainstream recreational activities. Although many programs do offer inclusion opportunities, we need to decide what is best for our children. And sometimes, a recreation program designed for “typical” children is not the best option. As such, parents are sometimes forced to exclude their child from such activities as they fear their child will feel socially isolated, over-stimulated, or become a victim of bullying by their typical peers if they do not “perform” as well as the other participating children. A recreation program geared towards the unique needs of children with varying abilities is a wonderful option for those children who need that individualized and specialized attention. These programs give our children the opportunity to be SUCCESSFUL, and to be RECOGNIZED for their hard work and dedication to the activity no matter what level of performance they give. They are specifically designed to build up the character and self-esteem of children with special needs, and give these children the necessary supports needed to achieve their goals!
Below you will find a spreadsheet, separated by County for your convenience, of special needs recreation programs in NJ! Click on your area to see programs that are close to you. If you know of a program not listed, please let me know!