Print a list of tips for recreation staff from Natural Learning Concepts that may contribute toward making your child's recreation experience a success: Top Ten Things You Need to Know About My Child with ASD
Art & Music Therapy
● Participation House Project (Durham Region) – Oshawa - A not for profit organization supporting adult individuals (age 18 -65) with physical and developmental disabilities to lead independent lives and be active members in their community. Offers various programs including Youth-the-Future. Participation House Programs are for ages 18-65.
● Snowflake Therapy - Snowflake Therapy Services in Peterborough, in partnership with the Autism Ontario Potential Program is offering a myriad of groups this fall, including social groups, therapy groups and support groups. For details click here.
Autism Ontario - Durham Region occasionally offers music therapy programs. See our Events page for details.
● The Arts Resource Centre in Oshawa is offering the Creative Expressions program. This program is specifically for adults with special needs who would like to experiment with a variety of different art mediums. More information can be found in the City of Oshawa's website under Recreation.
Camps - Day
● Exceptional Learning Centre (eXL) – Ajax - Offers summer camp for kids with various academic needs.
● Grandview Children's Centre – Oshawa - Summer Camp for Children and Youth with Special Needs ages 3 -21. Qualified counsellors, low camper:counsellor ratio, indoor and outdoor activities, social interaction, art, music, sports, games and much, much more. For more information click here.
● Inspirational Steps – Whitby - Offers themed half day summer camps. For more information or to register call 905-556-0226 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
● Hands 2 Feet Paediatric Occupational Therapy Services - Yoga and Art, Music and Movement Summer Camps. For details click here.
● Nova's Ark - Brooklin - Nova’s Ark offers an opportunity for individuals with special needs to join their trained and confident youth leaders to explore the many interesting therapy animals and participate in indoor and outdoor activities during their Spring and Summer Camps. Program focus continues to be on social and communication skills through exploration, sensory stimulation and structured interactive activities. There will be a heavy emphasis on weather appropriate outdoor physical activities. Registration is limited and will be processed on a first come/first served basis. For more details go to www.novasark.ca.
● Precious Minds Resource and Learning Centre – North Durham - Hosts day camps throughout the year at various locations in north Durham (Beaverton, Cannington, Sunderland, Port Perry, Uxbridge) for children in Grades 1-6 who need an academic boost, as well as for children ages 5 to 15 with developmental disabilities. Blaze Summer Camp: Each structured camp features creative theme-based activities including music, art, table tasks, cooking, outdoor time for exercise, games and lots of fresh air. Designed for kids (ages 5-12) and youth (ages 13-18+) with developmental disabilities. March Break Camp: This 3 day camp for kids and youth with developmental disabilities is structured with an emphasis on FUN. It includes elements of social skills building, fitness, art, music, healthy eating and play. A great test ground for potential Blaze Summer Camp 2015 participants. Prices vary. For more information click here.
● Tania’s Place Activity Centre for Teens & Adults with Special Needs - Hosts several ongoing programs including Summer Day Camp, school holiday, Super Saturday and Saturday Night Dance Socials (for Youth 13-17 years) and programs for Adults 18 years and older who live with a developmental and/or physical disability. Note: Tania's Place activities are high-energy with a minimum of 15-20 participants and may not be suitable for some individuals with autism. Tania's Place requests full disclosure of developmental disabilities and special needs with registration. A personal interview/assessment is conducted for all new clients prior to acceptance of registration. A completed Questionnaire must accompany all registrations. For details click here.
● TRACE(Tyndale Research in Autism and Community Education) Autism Summer Camp for children with ASD, PDD-NOS and Aspergers - Toronto - TRACE is a non-for-profit organization which has been formed to provide seminar and training programs to parents and professionals, conduct research, and offer autism intervention services such as our upcoming social skills summer camps. The summer is a fantastic time for the children to be learning basic social skills in a fun and engaging day camp environment which will allow them to put their learned skills to practice. The goals of the program include: 1) Promoting a positive learning environment, through the use of ABA techniques, that caters to the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder 2) Learning about and practicing social skills applicable to daily life 3)Giving the children a positive summer camp experience. The camps focus on teaching Social Skills and Having Fun. 1:1 staff support is provided to campers ages 4-12. During teaching times campers are grouped according to language level ranging from non-verbal to Asperger's. The cost is $400 per week and includes a weekly field trip. Parents can find out more information and register by visiting our website at www.tyndale.ca/TRACE or emailing TRACE@tyndale.ca.
● Tutorwiz Education Centre - Tutorwiz Education Centre operates Computer Day Camps during March Break and throughout the months of July and August for children 6 to 14 years of age, especially suited for those with special needs - LD, ADHD, and Aspergers. Each camp runs from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily. Campers will learn the functions and features of many educational computer programs including: Inspiration/Smart Ideas, WordQ, Kurzweil 3000, WORD and POWERPOINT. They will also learn to operate a computer by voice, create and design computer games and learn the basics of website design. Activities at camp include: Designing/creating business cards,brochures, newsletters etc. Designing/creating computer games, with Gamemaker Pro. Designing/creating an animated POWERPOINT presentation including sound and videos Movies and a Movie Review Creating music on a computer Creating comics Keyboarding For more information or to register, click here, call 905-683-6341 or email email@example.com.
Abilities Centre - The Abilities Centre is a fitness and recreation facility in Whitby that offers programs and camps for individuals of all abilities. For details click here.
Leaps and Bounds offers a 1:1 ABA March Break Camp. For details click here.
Kerry's Place March Break Camp: Kerry's Place offers March Break and Summer Camps. For details click here.
Dr. Angela Fountain and Associates offers regular and horseback riding summer and March Break day camps for children ages 6-14 years old experiencing social-emotional problems and/or learning disabilities. The program is specially designed to be fun and enjoyable while at the same time providing our young clients with the essentials for developing strong healthy relationships, confidence learning and practical problem solving skills. She also offers full psychological services which include assessment, treatment, counselling and after school programs. For details click here.
CC Visionary Centre is a not for profit organization that provides a number of educational, social, and recreational programs for kids and adults with and without special needs. Special needs however is something we are expanding on, Autism being on of our focuses. We aim to provide both an educational environment and a place for individuals with autism and other special needs to socialise with others, be creative, active, and above all else have fun. They are offering day camps for July and August. For details click here.
Camps - Overnight
● Camp Kennebec - Arden - Offers a summer residence program for youth with Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorders and other behavioural concerns. Some highlights of Kennebec include: - 2:1 camper to staff ratio - over 50 different activities that campers choose from, their days at camp are scheduled by their choices - mature, highly-skilled and motivated staff - family budget-planning to offset expenses - in-home visits and many more unique aspects of Kennebec. Click here for more details Contact: Tim French, Camp Manager Camp Kennebec 905-436-3376 905-243-5116 cell firstname.lastname@example.org
● Camp Kirk - Kirkfield - A residential (overnight) camp for boys and girls 6 to 13 years of age who have Learning Disabilities and/or AD(H)D Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), including those with incontinence or enuresis (bedwetting) difficulties. Our mission is to provide a nurturing, non-competitive and structured environment that allows these children the opportunity to enjoy a residential camping experience and to develop social, emotional and physical skills, thereby raising their self esteem. Camp Kirk is unique in that each and every camper has some form of learning disability. Together, they learn that they are not alone, and that it is possible to focus and build on their strengths and abilities in order to help them become the best that they can be.
● Camp Kodiak - Perry Sound - Camp Kodiak is an integrated, therapeutic, summer camp serving children and teens with and without Learning Disabilities, AD/HD, NLD and Asperger Syndrome. The program is staffed with teachers, psychologists, social workers, child and youth workers, recreation specialists and university/college students. The camper to staff ratio is 2:1 and cabin groups are small. They build confidence and self-esteem by structuring all of their activities – athletic, artistic and social – to ensure success. Facilities include modern, tongue-in-groove log cabins with full bathrooms, 425 acres of land and 4km of waterfront. Their programs feature over 50 sports and activities, and an academic program.
Club Kodiak is their corresponding program for young adults 19+. It is a camp vacation experience, which emphasizes a life skills program in addition to many sports and activities. They provide 3:1 guest to staff ratio, a structured program and 24-hour subtle supervision.
● Camp Winston – Muskoka - A 5-acre facility located in Kilworthy, Ontario on Sparrow Lake in the beautiful Muskoka Region (a 2 hour drive north of Toronto) operating a residential recreational summer programme for campers with complex neurological disorders, such as Tourette Syndrome, and Attention Deficit (Hyperactivity) Disorder. Children and teenagers with Autism come to Camp Winston in August. Camp Winston also provides Behaviour Management and Skills Workshops and various weekend retreats. Staff at Camp Winston believe in creating physically and emotionally safe environments in which campers and workshop participants are nurtured, respected and challenged. Through recreational programmes, staff members attempt to foster self-esteem, age-appropriate independence, decision-making and negotiation skills. Workshops provide a supportive and understanding learning atmosphere in which practical strategies and skills in the area of behaviour management are taught. The Camp Winston Head Office is located in Richmond Hill.
● Kinark Outdoor Education Centre – Autism Quest Program Supported residential recreational experiences on weekends and in the summer for children and youth ages 9-16 with high-functioning autism and Asperger's Syndrome. A number of respite/leisure programs for teens and adults with disabilities/special needs are also available at the Kinark Outdoor Education Centre. Click here for more information on their following programs.
● Ontario Pioneer Camp - Muskoka - The camp has developed an integrated special needs program that runs at Adventure Camp, Boys’ Camp, and Girls’ Camp all summer long. Camp staff recognize that people with intellectual and physical challenges are just like everyone else—they have the capacity to love, to have fun, to have friends and to know when they are missing out or being treated differently. A 1:1 staff to camper ratio exists and staff will modify the program in whatever way is necessary to allow for inclusion. Each site has an inclusion coordinator who is there to ensure that any child with special needs is having their challenges addressed and to provide support and information for the 1:1 leaders. One of the camp’s core commitments is to pursue authentic relationships where everyone is included.
● Camp Concord - Camp Concord is a residential, overnight summer camp for individuals with communication, intellectual, or behavioural disabilities.
They serve both children and adults, starting at age 7 and offer a 2:1, camper to staff ratio. Camp Concord has two distinct programs:
Everest Program - designed for campers aged 7 - 17, with a focus on social skills. Camp Concord is an integrated camp, where we integrate our campers into the mainstream camp during non-competitive environments, such as meals, and camp fires. This integration
allows our campers to work on social skills and make friends.
Summit Program - focuses on life skills, specifically independent living skills. This program is designed for adult campers (ages 18 and older). Life skills include laundry, cooking, and cleaning. The facility includes a laundry room and fully functioning kitchen, where supervised by our staff, campers will cook lunch daily.
They offer a personalized program, where campers and their families chooses what activities they would like to be involved in. This program decreases the campers anxiety, and allows campers to feel comfortable in their surroundings. Click here to see flyer.
● Heartfit Farm is a non profit summer holiday destination for intellectually disabled teens and adults over 18yrs. They draw on the therapeutic power of animals and the restorative power of nature to calm anxiety, reinforce skills build social skills and dilute fearful new experiences. Staff include career teachers, autism specialists, certified DSW and volunteers who return year after year. Their catchment area is wide and their unique program accepts only 8 guests per week. Families are encouraged to visit the farm and see if it is suitable for their needs.
● Access 2 Entertainment Acces 2 Entertainment provides free admission (or a significant discount) for support workers accompanying a person with a disability at participating movie theatres across Canada. The person affected by a disability pays regular admission.
● Therapeutic Horseback Riding – Ashburn - The Stables at Windreach Farm were developed by paralympian rider Alexander (Sandy) J. Mitchell and designed to be fully accessible to meet the needs of both elite equestrian competitors and pleasure riders with disabilities and/or special needs.
● Wake Robin Farm – Uxbridge - "A small, private riding facility offering personalized riding instruction for children and adults with special needs focussing on individuals with intellectual and cognitive disabilites. The goal of the program is to provide a safe and positive environment for students to experience the joys of horses and horsemanship at a pace that is comfortable for them. The benefits of riding include increased attention span, improved self-esteem and confidence, as well as many physical benefits. Students work 1:1 with an experienced instructor and well-schooled horses to learn about: safety rules, grooming, tacking up, mounting and dismounting, riding skills." Program includes 8 one hour lessons. Fee: $40 per lesson. Free 1/2 hour introductory lesson. Call for more information: 416-526-1298.
Victory Time Farm - provides a unique farm experience and riding therapy specialized for children and adults with autism, learning disabilities and self esteem issues.
Their goal is to help children through contact with animals and more specifically with the horse. They provide a safe, unstructured physical environment where the child can explore, and discover. For more details click here.
Dr. Angela Fountain and Associates offers Ponly Club for kids aged SK-gr 8. Children will learn about horse handling, care, safety and stable management. Group therapy will be paired with equine activities to provide fun and motivating ways to learn about relationship and confidence building. **Each group will include a minimum of 2 riding lessons. For details click here.
Horses Help Canada - Horses Help Canada's mission is to create a safe opportunity for youth with special needs and youth-at- risk to thrive. H.H.C - H.E.A.L removes barriers by partnering youth with horses in rural settings so that they can work through issues resulting from low self-esteem and lack of self-confidence, as well as feelings of anxiety and fear. This helps them to become vital, self aware, active community members, capable of building healthy relationships, understanding their own boundaries and developing communication skills. For details click here.
● Basketball Program - Pickering - Durham West Special Olympics offers a Junior Special Olympic Basketball Program to focus on fun, skill development and the opportunity for more social interaction with peers. Runs February to April. For more information, contact Debbie May at 905-686-2538 or email@example.com
● Challenge League Sports – Oshawa - Special Sports for Unique Players in Durham Region. Challenge League Sports is a registered charitable organization for children ages 5 and older whose special needs can’t be met by existing sports leagues – all skill levels are welcome. Games in the Challenge League are modified to promote maximum participation, individual development and fun. For details click here.
● Whitby Challenger Baseball started in June 2015. This is a baseball league for kids with special needs. For more information see Whitby Challenger Baseball and Challenger Baseball Canada.
● Durham Rowing Club - 2012 Adaptive Rowing Program - Port Perry - The Durham Rowing Club is seeking members to join its adaptive rowing program. The goal of the program is to make the sport of rowing accessible to people with a broad range of disabilities and special needs.
What is adaptive rowing? Adaptive rowing is sweep rowing (one oar per rower) or sculling (two oars) for people with physical or intellectual limitations. The basic techniques of adaptive rowing are the same as rowing for the able-bodied. Participants learn the elements of the stroke: drive, recovery, catch angle, oar handling, etc. The general learning curve is comparable to any novice rower and participants experience the same thrill at discovering our sport. For safety reasons adaptive rowers must be able to swim and be able to follow instructions. Registration forms and additional information on the club are available on the club web site www.durhamrowing.com or by contacting Scott Withers at firstname.lastname@example.org Enrolment is limited so an early registration is advised.
● PaddleAll - PaddleALL is a summer program designed to promote paddling for all ability levels, including participants with physical and intellectual disabilities. Through a weekly program the PRCC introduces participants to paddling which can lead to racing opportunities throughout Canada. For details click here.
● Durham Dragons Special Hockey - Ajax - A program designed for developmentally challenged individuals of all ages (male and female) that would otherwise not be able to play hockey. Each weekend they experience the thrill and camaraderie that is part of a hockey team: "It's not just hockey ... It's so much more!"
● Fitness Friends - Fitness Friends is a great way to encourage the participation of students with special needs in fitness and sports programs. You may be able to encourage staff at your child's school to implement this program.
● Hockey for Individuals with Special Needs - Newmarket - The Newmarket Night Hawks hockey team play every Saturday throughout the year at 2:00 pm and also participate in tournaments. Teams are divided by ability, not age. New players are always welcome; your child doesn't even need to know how to skate, but full equipment is required.
● Special Olympics - Offers a variety of sporting programs for individuals with disabilities. This includes basketball, bowling, skating, swimming, and many more. For details click here.
● Ultimate Canadian Cheer - Durham Region - Offers a unique opportunity for individuals with special needs of all ages (children, youth & adults): a competitive, traveling cheerleading squad. The practices are held in Pickering with competitions throughout the GTA. The squad is co-ed, and individuals on the autism spectrum are welcome to participate. Contact UCC for more information: 905-839-8822 or mailto:email@example.com
● Zumba - Special Needs program - designed for youth with mild developmental disabilities. Participants will get moving to the beat with this music and movement class fusing Latin rhythms with easy to follow moves. Have fun while improving motor skills and coordination. Youth/instructor ratio, 10:1. Ages: 13+. At the McLean C.C. Fitness Studio, Ajax. For details click here.
● Pickering Soccer Club All Abilities Program - The All Abilities soccer program offers all children and youth with intellectual and/or physical disabilities, within Durham Region and the Greater Toronto Area, an opportunity to learn and play the great game of soccer. Every child deserves a chance to build lasting friendships, make memories and feel like they belong. The All Abilities team strives for an inclusive environment where no child is noticed for their disability, rather their enormous abilities. For details click here.
● Abilities Centre Igniting Fitness Possibilities Program - Igniting Fitness Possibilities (IFP) is designed to encourage a passion for physical activity in youth of all abilities. Youth will develop new activity skills, lead co-operative games and receive personalized mentorship to help them achieve their goals. Sign up with a friend and have some fun with us! This program is for youth in grades 6 to 8 with and without a disability who are not involved in organized sports programs. IFP is offered in partnership with Holland Bloorview and researchers from the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education (KPE) at the University of Toronto. For details click here.
● Autism on the Seas - Group and individual travel for families and adults with autism. All activities are structured to match each individual's abilities and accommodate people with autism of all ages. Click here for the 2013-2014 cruising schedule.
● Disability Travel Card from Easter Seals - Reduced fare tickets allowing individuals with permanent disabilities to travel with an attendant on the lines of Motor Coach Companies that participate in the reduced fare plan, and Via Rail.
● Tarita's Travel Connections - specializing in accessible travel.
● Grandview Children's Centre - various locations in Durham Region - Recreation Services include programs for children and youth with special needs of all ages (ranging from age 1 1/2 to 21) including Art, Music, Dance, Martial Arts, Swimming Lessons, Sports Night, Digital Photography Club, and much more. For more information, contact Grandview's Registration Hotline at 905-728-1673 or toll free 1-800-304-6180 x 2247
● Kerry's Place Autism Services – Oshawa - Offers Girls Groups, Lego Club, day trips and various other recreational activities. Please call 905 579 2720 ext 21 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or click here.
● Sunrise Youth Group - Whitby - A variety of recreational programs throughout the year for individuals with developmental disabilities age 15 and over, including Wilderness Weekend Camping Trips, Cabin Retreat Weekends, Dances and Special Events, Residential Camping, New Year's Eve Party, day trips, Club Nights and more.
● Tania’s Place Activity Centre for Teens & Adults with Special Needs – Ajax & Oshawa Hosts several ongoing programs including summer day camp, school holiday, Super Saturday and Saturday Night Dance Socials (for Youth 13-17 years) and programs for Adults 18 years and older who live with a developmental and/or physical disability. Note: Tania's Place activities are high-energy with a minimum of 15-20 participants and may not be suitable for some individuals with autism. Tania's Place requests full disclosure of developmental disabilities and special needs with registration. A personal interview/assessment is conducted for all new clients prior to acceptance of registration. A completed Questionnaire must accompany all registrations.
● Variety – The Children’s Charity & Variety Village - Scarborough - Variety Village, a unique Sports Training and Fitness Centre and the flagship project of Variety – The Children’s Charity, has been recognized as a world leader in offering progressive state-of-the-art programming and services for children and adults of all abilities. The Village has been providing both a facility to enjoy and a place of hope and encouragement for individuals with special needs for close to 25 years. Approximately 3,000 children and youth with special needs depend on Variety Village for safe, healthy sports programming each week. Variety Village provides essential sport and fitness programs using a proven integrated model that helps individuals of all abilities develop a greater sense of independence, self-worth, confidence and well-being. With its focus on ability, rather than disability, Variety Village has a reputation among peers and the public as making a real difference in the lives of its members. Variety Village allows its members to see that they have the ability to do things they thought they could never do. By seeking solutions, rather than focusing on problems, Variety sends everyone a strong message: there is always a way – it simply takes imagination and determination.
Hands 2 Feet Pediatric Occupational Therapy: Offers Yoga classes. A great way to get the kids out and participating in a physical activity while learning to meditate and distress as well, in the new year. Yoga will:
Improve strength, flexibility and balance
Increase sensory awareness and body awareness
Improve focus and concentration
Teach relaxation and reduce stress/anxiety
Teach cooperation and teamwork
Consists of 10, 1 hour classes. All classes run by a Certified Kids Yoga Instructor. There is a maximum of 6 children per class.
Dates: Thursdays, January 8 - March 12, 2015
Fee: $120 for the 10 sessions, $14 for a drop-in class (need to call ahead)
Location: Hands 2 Feet, 1895 Clements Rd., Unit 115, Pickering
Please contact me at email@example.com or at 647-221-5278 to register or click here for more details.
Aloha Toronto (Aloha Autism Association) offers an annual Aloha Toronto SUP camp for autism @ Balmy Beach Club, Toronto. This is a full day event for kids with ASD who take go out on surfboards, fully protected in every way, and help them experience the pure joy of being in/on the water! Stay tuned to their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AlohaToronto?fref=ts
Monikidz Social Group for girls.
Sensory Friendly Movies: J. Clarke Richardson Collegiate is pleased to provide local families who are affected by Autism, other disabilities, or sensory issues an opportunity to view movies in a safe and accepting environment. Lights will be kept on, noise level will be turned down, and previews will be omitted. Movie-goers are welcome to move around, walk, sing, shout, and be themselves! All students MUST be accompanied by an adult. Respite workers, family members, and friends are welcome! For details and dates click here.
Ready, Set, Play!: Play Skills Development Group for Children 6 and Under. For details click here.
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