Group Activities for Children With Special Needs in Long Island, New York

Being special can mean so many things. It can refer to those who have autism, emotional disorders, or anyone with an emotional or psychological disability who needs assistance. Social skills and group activities are important in helping a child develop life skills.

The Long Island, New York, area has many activities for children with special needs to participate in and enjoy. Long Island is an island located in southeastern New York State. The Atlantic Ocean extends itself along Long Island's coastline.

Aquatic Programs

Aquatic programs through your city or county like the one offered by Nassau County at the Aquatic Center will often offer youth-adapted programs. These courses are geared at youth who have special needs. These groups will usually feature small student-to-teacher ratios and will work on swimming skills and meeting individual goals. In addition to providing swimming lessons, participants may learn water safety and play group games.

Equestrian Program

Besides being good exercise group physical fitness helps build skills and confidence. My Shine Program established in 2006, located in Melville, offers summer therapeutic riding for children with disabilities. The Equestrian Program is for children ages three and up, is taught by certified instructors, and includes a half-hour group lessons. Lessons include learning skills like grooming, riding, tacking and games on horseback.

Sports and Recreation Program

Physical fitness is an important benefit of sports participation. Children and adolescents who are disabled are finding more opportunities for them to be active in groups. The Kids In Special Service or KISS group was established in 2004 and is located in Plainview, NY. It offers sports and other recreational opportunities for high functional kids with developmental delays, learning disabled, autistic and other disabilities.

Gymnastics Class

Gymnastic workouts are good ways to increase fitness and good for socializing. Gymnastic centers are offering more programs for disabled youth. Instruction is generally based on the child's needs and skill level. Programs like this offer an opportunity not only for physical exercise but also for building self-confidence and increasing socialization. Courses like these are usually taught by trained professionals who have expertise in this field and share the excitement of bringing fun, recreation and physical activity into the lives of youth. Centers like Gymnastique offer special needs classes 2. Gymboree in Planview, New York, also offer gymnastics classes.

Sensory Integration Program

Play and music centers like Gymboree have started offering classes for youth with special needs that provide developmental play opportunities. Their classes often include sensory training, listening skills, cause and effect, and age appropriate social skills. In addition, these centers will also teach skills through different musical styles. This provides the basis for learning rhythm, beat, tempo, melody and aids with cognitive and sensory skills.

Kids in Action is another organization that offers parent-child groups for sensory integration disorders. The group’s therapies include play in the gym focusing on sensory play, songs, cooperative sharing play and muscle movement.