Summer Fun Ideas for Families with Special Needs

Having a family member with special needs can mean more planning and research in terms of activities, but that doesn’t mean a family’s options are limited. There are many fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. The following are a few ideas that can accommodate all abilities.

Movies
Some movie theatres have recently started participating in sensory-friendly showings that follow a “lights up, sound down, no previews, run around” idea. This provides an environment that allows parents to be more at ease where they may otherwise be worried about their child’s behavior. The Autism Society has been a big partner on this concept and you can find more information on how it was started on their website. To find participating theatres in your area visit the links below.
www.amctheatres.com/programs/sensory-friendly-films
ncgmovies.com/sensory-friendly
www.regmovies.com/promotions/my-way-matinee

Playgrounds
With the help of special needs advocates around the country as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) guidelines, some playgrounds are now being built for all types of children with varying abilities. These playgrounds have wheelchair accommodations and certain specifications that allow for a safe and engaging environment. The Play for All Abilities Park in Round Rock, Texas is located at 151 North A.W. Grimes Blvd and includes features intended to help all children develop specific skills. Some of these features include a sensory pod sand box, rock band pod, all abilities plays cape and swings. Visit their website www.roundrocktexas.gov/departments/parks-and-recreation/parks-trails/play-park to learn more. You can also find other playgrounds nearby at:
Accessibleplayground.net
Playgroundsforeveryone.com

Theme Parks
Many theme parks have updated their policies to better support all of their guests. This includes the special needs community. Some have sought to provide services such as sign language interpreters, quiet rooms and listening devices. Disney has been exceptionally successful in its mindfulness to families with unique needs. Visit these websites if you are interested in theme parks for your family.
Disneyland.disney.go.com/guest-services/guests-with-disabilities/
Sixflags.com/greatadventure/plan-your-visit/guests with disabilities
Cedarfair.com/who-we-are

You can also find activities to participate in around your neighborhood. Activities as simple as backyard camping, art projects or nature walks can all prove beneficial and entertaining for the whole family. Check out the full article by Angela Nelson at the link below.
http://www.eparent.com/wellness/special-needs-families-creating-summer-fun/

For more information and resources on planning for your loved one with special needs, browse through our website at specialneedsforum.org.