Here is information about groups and activities for children and adolescents with special needs. This list includes leisure as well as educational/therapeutic opportunities.
Acton-Boxborough Special Education Parent Advisory Council Members have expressed a growing need for after-school programs, extracurricular activities, and social skills groups for special needs children in the community. We are always looking for additional resources, so please forward any recommendations you may have along for inclusion.
- Jerry’s Barber Shop – is located at 220 Main Street in Acton. Nancy is very kind and patient and does a great job. The phone is (978) 263-9021.
- Rue de France – is located at 4 Central Street in Ashburnham. Dominique Lake is the owner and sole hair stylist in this salon. She is very patient and accommodating of children with special needs. The phone is (978) 827-9909.
- Boy Scouts – Pack/Troop 222 – What makes Pack/Troop 222 unique is its commitment to reach out to and serve boys with mild to moderate special needs. Membership in Pack/Troop 222 is open to any boy 6-14 years of age, and scouts may join throughout the year. Although based at the Weston Scout House, Pack/Troop 222 welcomes boys from any town or community, and currently boasts members from over sixteen different communities. Attractive features of Pack/Troop 222 include its highly structured programs and perhaps most importantly an environment of tolerance and acceptance. The scouting program is noncompetitive, and each boy goes at his own pace. Achievement awards and merit badges provide scouts with immediate reinforcement. Pack/Troop 222 usually holds a monthly field trip and a monthly unit meeting, on a mid to late Sunday. Pack/Troop meetings might consist of an opening circle and flag ceremony, a gross motor activity weather permitting (e.g., scavenger hunt, relay races, obstacle course), snack time and a fine motor activity (e.g., arts & crafts). No two boys are alike in terms of skill sets, but most of the scouts in Pack/Troop 222 have mild to moderate challenges in the areas of social relatedness and/or communication. Typical diagnoses might include: Asperger’s/PDD, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, speech delays, sensory integration disorder, and other mild developmental delays. In all cases, they are children first, with a desire for friendship and acceptance. Many of the boys provide excellent peer models for the other scouts, and some of the scouts are for the first time forming close friendships and getting invited to playdates and birthday parties.
- Siblings are invited to participate in most activities.
- This is not a drop-off situation. A parent or caregiver is required to remain with the scout during meetings.
- Mothers, as well as fathers, are invited to accompany their sons to meetings and events. Several of the boys in our unit have single parents.
- Pack/Troop 222 has no paid employees. We expect parents to volunteer to organize activities or assist with other administrative duties.
- Although not necessarily recommended, scouts may simultaneously join our pack/troop and a typical pack/troop. Scouts must register separately with both units.
- Annual unit registration fee is about $25. There may be additional costs for uniforms and admission fees on field trips. Scholarships are available to any family with limited financial resources.
For more information, contact the pack at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(verified Oct 2011)
- Springboard – a “social club consisting of adults and adolescents with learning disabilities or Asperger’s Syndrome. Founded in 1981 by a group of parents of children with learning disabilities, Springboard now operates under the management of TILL, Inc. Its main purpose is to foster social relationships between its members by providing fun, interesting, recreational, cultural and educational activities. In the process of participating in activities and socializing with peers, members learn skills to help them better handle a variety of social relationships and situations. ” See their website for contact information. (verified Oct 2011)
These classes/organizations have been recommended by parents as supportive instructional environments for children with special needs.
- Piano lessons in an engaging, supportive environment – Mimiz Muzic Studio, Mimi Rendish, (978) 263-5689, 183 Nagog Hill Road, Acton, MA 01720
- Sudbury Adaptive Sports & Recreation Programs – To register for programs and classes click here.
- Special Needs Aquatic Training at Beede Swim & Fitness Center – For more information or to register follow this link.
- Swim lessons through Pool School Plus with locations in Boxborough, Tewksbury, and Lawrence.
- Swim lessons with J. Simmons at the Thoreau Club in Concord, MA.
- Warrior’s Way – 63 Great Road, Maynard, MA – offers Tae Kwon Do, yoga, pilates, fencing and spinning classes.
- Tae Kwon Do – Concord School of Taekwon-Do – 50 Beharrel St. Suite 1, Concord, MA 01742. (978) 369-1909
- Nashoba Valley Special Olympics – is located in Westford, MA, and is committed to supporting athletes with special needs; with training, coaching and competition through a variety of seasonal sporting events.
- Miracle League of Massachusetts – is located in Boxborough and provides children with mental, emotional and/or physical challenges an opportunity to play baseball as a team member in an organized league.
- Theatre With a Twist, Inc. – is a non-profit dedicated to providing a variety of theatre modalities such as musical theatre, improvisation, drama, and storytelling. We focus on the needs of ALL ages and have an educational component with each project. Everyone has fun, no matter what their learning style and what their abilities. We all have our own unique abilities and through Theatre with a Twist, we share our own uniqueness and strive to be better individuals. We do not poke fun at others because they are different. We embrace everyone’s gifts and qualities and learn that no one is perfect. In our group everyone is a star.
- Open Door Theater – Open Door Theater of Acton is a non-profit family-oriented community theater company that has been creating learning experiences through theater for adults, children, and people with special needs since it was founded in 1980.
AB SpEd PAC makes every effort to ensure that resources listed on our website include information and support our members will find useful and are compatible with our mission and purpose. We accept no responsibility for the groups, activities, and events listed below. Further, by listing the resource on our website, we are showing no endorsement. The resources have been listed for informational purposes only.