Q. I have a delightful 8 year old who loves basketball and he has a diagnosis of Autism. He has a hard time making friends however, he’s really motivated to connect with other kids his age! Do you know of any summer activities for children with special needs?
A. It’s great your son wants to make friends and with a little help I am sure he will be well on his way to making friends in no time! There are a variety of opportunities available in the community for children with disabilities. You may want to consider checking out your local youth community programs, YMCA or Park and Recreation centers, and Special Olympics. They may offer a variety of opportunities to participate in sports. This is something your son might like given that he loves basketball! Some programs even offer adaptive sports if child needs it. Adaptive sports allow children with disabilities such as (intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and mental health conditions) to participate either competitively or recreationally in a sport. It teaches character, leadership, teamwork and many form strong friendships with their teammates.
Some questions you may ask the program are:
- Do they provide a disability friendly environment for kids with special needs?
- What kinds of supports could they possibly provide to your son?
- Do they offer adaptive sports?
- Could my child bring a family member, friend or staff to provide support during the activity?
You can also contact the Arc Minnesota at (952) 920-0855 or toll-free at (833) 450.1494 and an advocate will be happy to assist you.