Cochran’s is a small ski area in Richmond, Vermont. Cochran’s is an amazing place for children with special needs. Although they might not be labeled as an “adaptive” ski program, they are the most adaptable program that I have come across. From the instruction to the smallness of the ski area, it is an amazing place to have your child learn to ski. The best part is the sense of warmth, caring, and community that they offer for every family!
Friends on the Go supports children who have difficulty with social relationships and wish to connect with others. This group hopes to support kids ages four and older who have social challenges and wish to make friends in a low stress environment. Monthly or bi-monthly outings will be scheduled to local destinations such as Wildflower Studio, Petra Cliffs, Spare Time and more! Descriptions of each event will include cost, age range, noise level, etc. so families can choose the activities that best fit their needs. Age appropriate siblings are invited to join in as well!
Activities are listed on Event Calendar as well as Facebook.
Join UVM’s Ballet Viridis Ballet Company in a dance workshop for children with disabilities. The first half of the program will consist of simple warm ups and movement, while the second half will be focused on choreography and improvisation. Every child will be paired with a company member who can tailor movements to their specific needs with the goal of helping every child discover the joys of dance. This class happens several times a month during the school year.
Kayla’s Directory partners with Full Stride to run two 8-week skating programs for children who want to learn the fundamentals of skating. This program is all about FUN and allowing all children to have the experience of being on the ice! We try to pair each child up with a mentor to help them be successful.
The classes are held at Cairns Arena in South Burlington on Wednesday’s at 4:30. One session begins in October and another session begins in January. This is for children ages 5 and up.
Team Impact connects children who have special health needs to local college athletic teams. Team Impact’s mission is improving the quality of life for children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses through the power of team.
It has had such a positive impact on our daughter. Although our daughter is not able to skate, she loves to watch hockey. She has been watching the UVM women’s hockey for two years now and is very excited to be a part of their team. It is the first time in 7 years that we have seen her so confident in herself and happy to be a part of the UVM team.
US Youth Soccer TOPSoccer is a 6 week program for kids who have all types of disabilites. During this 1 1/2 hour weekly program, each child is usually paired with a local Vermont high school soccer player. It is a great program that is very well run. It usually begins in the beginning of September.
Bonnie Benson is well-known for her amazing ability to teach children with special needs how to swim.
Kayla’s Directory sponsors an “adaptive” mini-milers program that is organized through Vermont City Marathon. This 6-week program is offered in the spring for children with special needs in kindergarten through 6th grade. Mentors from area high schools help the children engage in games, run, have a healthy snack, and have fun.
Bart Adaptive Sports Center provides people with disabilities and their families the opportunity to enjoy outdoor sports in southern Vermont. They offer instruction in skiing, snowboarding, cycling, kayaking and golf as well as a summer camp environment at Lake Shaftesbury State Park.
Provides horseback riding for children who have physical, cognitive, or developmental disabilites.
The Community Sailing Center in Burlington offers an Adaptive Watersports Program (AWP). AWP supports individuals with cognitive or physical disabilities and uses adaptive teaching methods and specialized equipment to teach individuals to sail. They offer group recreational sailing, individual lessons, and kayak and canoe rentals. The Community Sailing Center also partners with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports.
This is an incredible organization that offers several clinics a year for children and adults with disabilities. They run soccer clinics with the support of St. Michael’s College women’s soccer team and basketball clinics at Castleton State College. The clinics are very well run, safe, and fun!
The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts does an incredible job at accommodating children with special needs. Several performances throughout the year are presented in a sensory-friendly format. The Flynn Center also has provide workshops for children on the autism spectrum throughout the year. We will keep you updated on our event page regarding those performances.
Imagination Station is an incredible sensory space that was designed for individuals on the autism spectrum. However, it is a space that can be utilized for individuals with any disorder who want to experience a calm and relaxing environment. The fun, interactive space is filled with colors, soft music, aromatherapy, different textures, and lighting effects. Its purpose is to make sure that individuals have a positive and calm experience.
Imagination Station is operated by Washington County Mental Health Services. However, individuals who are not accessing their services are able to access the space during particular hours. Check out their website!
Northern lights is an amazing rope course and ice-climbing facility in Essex. They offer classes and camps throughout the year. What separates this from most rope courses is their ability to work with special needs children and adults. The entire staff at Northern Lights are friendly, out-going, caring, creative, and full of energy! Jay Plantillas, the facility directory, is incredible at getting any child with a disability out on the course!
Partners In Adventure day camp groups young people, ages 7 through adults, who have disabilities, with their non-disabled peers for a summer camp experience. There are 9 weeks of Summer Camp (four, 2-week and a one-week).
Activities are adaptive and designed by special educators and physical therapists for the success of all abilities and include: horseback riding, swimming, boating, zip line, archery, African drumming and dance, cooking, arts & crafts, science and nature, games, dance, life skills, music, beach parties and more. Each 2-week session will include field trips to a variety of locations.
There is a one-week Winter Camp during February break as well as other activities throughout the year.
Reinbow Riding Center is a therapeutic riding facility located in Shrewsbury, Vermont. Our PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) certified instructors, along with the assistance of many volunteers, provide therapeutic horseback riding lessons for special needs children and adults.
Social Adventure Group supports young adults ages 18-29 who have difficulty with social relationships and wish to connect with others. We have a general meeting the 4th Thursday of each month at Vt. Family Network, 600 Blair Park Road, suite 240, south entrance (facing the Superstore) 6:30-8:30pm. The members plan events and play games at the meetings. Some of the events include: movies, dinner, comedy, game nights at people’s homes, theater, biking, Church Street, Anime, mini golf, rock climbing, and more. New members always welcome.
Special Olympics Vermont offers year round sports training and competition opportunities in 13 Olympic-type sports for individuals ages 8+. In 2016, the sports seasons were reorganized into four distinct seasons culminating in four statewide competitions: Winter Games, Summer Games, Fall Games, and Holiday Games.
This is a wonderful opportunity for individuals to participate in sports, make friends, and have fun!
The Special Olympics Young Athletes program is an innovative sports play program for children with and without disabilities ages 2 through 7, designed to provide opportunities for young children to be active, have fun, and learn foundational sports skills. The program supports physical, cognitive and social development — skills important on and off the sports field. It also offers families connections to local Special Olympics Programs. There is no cost for your family for participating. The program offers 1 hour classes that meet for 6-8 weeks throughout the year.