Parent & Community Resources
Below are some of the Parent Advisory groups recommendations for activities/facilities they find successful for their children with special needs. If any parent has a recommendation they would like to add to this list, please email me and we will gladly add your recommendation to this list. You are welcome to give any of these activities or facilities a try and let us know how they work out for you and your child. Remember, we are all on this journey together and supporting each other is what we need to do. Don’t miss out on the inclusion activities included in this list. Email me at Jeanette.Krone@chester-nj.org.
The Little Gym of Roxbury in Ledgewood
Age - 12 months - 12 years
Recommendation from our parent- “High energy environment particularly for pre-schoolers, integrated classes, individualized attention from facilitators with special needs training, never seen a kid left behind… it was recommended by my child’s Early Intervention OT and my child has been going since October 2017.”
Watch a sensory friendly movie at select AMC Theaters.
Films shown at AMC Theaters on the 2nd and 4th Saturday (family friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. AMC offers unique movie showings where they turn the lights up, and the sound down, so kids can get up, dance, walk, talk, sing, etc. It is called a “Sensory Friendly Film Program.” AMC Brick, AMC Clifton, AMC Freehold, AMC Loews Jersey Gardens, AMC Mountainside, AMC New Brunswick, AMC Rockaway, AMC Wayne, AMC West Orange. You need to check your local listings for movie times.
https://www.skyzone.com/mountolive/programs/inclusion-day - Next date: January 23 4-8 p.m.
Skyzone is “promoting awareness and acceptance for all individuals.” According to their website, it states, “Join the Jump as we dial down the music and dim the lights to create a welcoming and inclusive environment to be enjoyed by all. Sky Zone, where common ground is a trampoline that allows everyone to jump high. -We will dial down the noise, increase the staff ratio and limit the capacity. -One companion may participate for FREE with each paying jumper.-Regular Open Jump pricing applies.
British Swim School in Mt. Arlington, NJ
15 Howard Blvd, Ste 100, 973-957-3111
Swimming Instruction- “premier water safety and learn-to-swim program in the Morris County area and located inside the Marriott...”Parent notes that her special needs child seems to enjoy her lessons, however she is not aware if there are any provisions specifically designed for special needs children.
School of Royal Yoga- Center for Special Needs, Sara Carapezzi, Director School of Royal: https://theschoolofroyalyoga.com/the-center-for-special-needs/
38 Main Street, Chester, NJ 07930
All ages welcome
Quest Karate Martial Arts- A Martial Arts school specializing in Karate.
59 E. Mill Road, Long Valley, NJ -7853
Sensei Thomas Kately
Parent made this recommendation, “ It's a great school that focuses on not just winning the competition but on respect of others and social responsibility. Sensei Kately has a special way with Kids, to be able to talk to them and motivate them…”
Dance Dynamics- Laura Gay- Long Valley
59 Mill Road, Long Valley, NJ -7853
The Miracle Project- Mayo Performing Arts Center
100 South Street
Morristown, NJ 07960
Please contact Education Director Cathy Roy at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The Miracle Project is a fully inclusive theater, film, social skills, and expressive arts program for individuals with autism and all abilities.”
Freedom Horse Farm
158 Flocktown Road, Long Valley, NJ
Freedom Horse Farm offers the services of Adaptive Riding and physical therapy including the treatment strategy of hippotherapy and aquatic therapy.
Papermill Playhouse (papermill.org) - Autism friendly performance of Charlotte's Web is scheduled for Sunday, June 14 at 10:00 a.m.
Chuck E. Cheese - Sensory Sensitive Sundays - first Sunday of every month Chuck E. Cheese opens 2 hours early for children with autism or other special needs. Bridgewater and East Hanover both participate
In addition to recommendations from our parents, njkidsonline.come provides some additional "Sensory Friendly Attractions & Things To Do" for Special Needs families and recommend visiting njkidsonline.com for more activities that may be suitable.
- Visit a Planetarium for some astronomy fun.
The Raritan Valley College Planetarium featuring “The Sky Above”. Show about planets, moon, and constellation synced to music and laser lights. Doors are open, lights are dimmed, and audio is lowered. Upcoming dates @5PM: Nov 3, 2018, Dec 1, 2018, 118 Lamington Road, Branchburg, NJ, 908.231.8805.
- Relax and enjoy the water at a waterpark.
Sahara Sam’s Oasis Indoor & Outdoor Waterpark Special Needs night - judgment free evening for individuals with special needs and their families. Zero entry, transfer lift into pool, modified lighting, reduced noise, relaxed dress code. Book your ticket. Upcoming date: Fri, Nov 16, 2018, 6-9PM. 535 North Route 73, West Berlin, NJ, 856.767.7580.
- Jump at an indoor trampoline park.
Quieter and toned down jumping experience.
Sky Zone Allendale - sensory hours 4th Monday of each month, 4-6PM, 201.574.1800
Sky Zone Mt Olive - sensory hours 3rd Monday of each month, 4-6PM, 973.527.7000 (our parents have recommended Sky Zone in Mt. Olive - see above for next inclusion day)
Sky Zone Pine Brook - sensory hours 2nd Monday of each month, 4-6PM, 973.396.4001
Sky Zone Springfield - sensory hours 1st Monday of each month, 4-6PM, inquire 973.671.5100
- Visit animals at the zoo or go to a wildlife center.
Most have guide maps to accessible exhibits. Inquire about special programs and tours. Popular zoos: Bergen County Van Saun Zoo, Bronx Zoo, Cape May County Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo offers KidZooU quiet spaces and Universal Design Graphics, Turtle Back Zoo.
Rizzo’s Wildlife World offers Special Needs group programs where you can feed, touch, and hold select animals. 1 Gold Mine Rd, Flanders NJ, 973.586.0444.
- Experience rides & shows at a theme park.
Storybook Land holds a Special Abilities night for Special Needs Families in the Fall. 6415 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, NJ, 609.646.0103
Sesame Place in Langhorne PA is the first theme park designated as a Certified Autism Center. Extensive sensory guide of services, rides, & shows. Meet Julia, a sweet 4-year old Muppet with Autism. Upcoming themes: Halloween & Christmas, 215.702-ELMO.
- Visit an aquarium and see aquatic life.
Pick a time, either early in the day or later in the evening, when crowds are less for a more relaxed experience.
Adventure Aquarium in Camden NJ has accessible viewing areas, sound reducing headphones, weighted blankets, shark shack tour, tactile maps, and sign language interpreters. Upcoming event: F.I.S.H. Night - Family Inclusive Hours Oct 20, 2018, 6-8PM allows you to visit in a relaxed setting, 844.474.FISH.
Other aquariums: The Maritime Aquarium Norwalk CT, New York Aquarium, Long Island Aquarium
- Visit a museum with special needs accessibility and programs.
Museums are open and welcoming to all in general. But on select days, the special needs community is made to feel extra welcomed.
The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia offers Sensory Friendly Sundays. Exhibits modified for a comfortable environment for all. Special adapted exhibits throughout the museum 8AM-12:30PM - including Your Brain, The Giant Heart, Electricity, Changing Earth, Amazing Machine & Franklin Air Show. Upcoming dates: Oct 28, 2018, Dec 2, 2018, Free Admission if you pre-register, 215.448.1200
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC offers Discoveries Families Programs on select days. Take a Gallery tour plus do an art activity in studio, 212.650.2010.
Free but Reservations required for:
Discoveries Mysterious Creatures for ages 5-17, Oct 21, 2018, 2-3:30PM
Discoveries Mysterious Creatures for ages 18 & Older, Oct 21, 2018, 11AM-12:30PM
Free, No Reservations required for:
Discoveries @30 Exhibition Opening, Nov 18, 2018, 11AM-12:30PM - celebrate 30th anniversary of Discoveries program and view art made by participants.
Free but Reservations required for:
Sights & Sounds at The Met Cloisters - monthly workshop program for children ages 4-17 on the Autism spectrum or with learning disabilities; explore treasures from medieval castles and sacred places.
The Museum of Natural History in NYC offers special needs Discovery Squad Tours for ages 5-14 on select Saturdays. Depending on child’s age, you will take a 40-minute paleontology tour or see dioramas of animals and ocean life, plants, and rocks. Tours for rest of 2018 are at capacity. Upcoming open dates: Jan 19, 2019, Feb 16, 2019, Mar 2, 2019. Reservations required, 212.769.5200.
Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC offers “Family Fun: For Families with Kids on the Autism Spectrum” - sensory-friendly guided tour and create a hands-on studio activity. Ages 6+, Nov 3, 2018, 9:30-11AM. Free but Registration required, 212.570.3600.
Queens Museum in Flushing Meadows NY offers Drop-in Family Art Workshops for children with special needs, diverse learners, and those on the autism spectrum. Led by art therapists. Third Sunday of each month. Free with museum admission, 718.592.9700.
Liberty Science Center in Jersey City NJ. Special Needs Day: Dec 4, 2018, Apr 9, 2019, 201.253.1310.
- Enjoy a sensory friendly or autism friendly performance or show.
Check venues for events: BergenPac, Mayo Performing Arts, Paper Mill Playhouse, State Theatre New Jersey, Union County Performing Arts Center. Upcoming NYC Broadway shows: Frozen Sun Nov 4, 2018, Aladdin Sun Mar 3, 2019.
- Watch a sensory friendly movie at select AMC Theaters.
Films shown at AMC Theaters on the 2nd and 4th Saturday (family friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Lights are turned up and sound is down. AMC Brick, AMC Clifton, AMC Freehold, AMC Loews Jersey Gardens, AMC Mountainside, AMC New Brunswick, AMC Rockaway, AMC Wayne, AMC West Orange.
- Play and enjoy all-inclusive playgrounds.
Also known as playgrounds for everyone, barrier free playgrounds or all access playgrounds. Central Park of Morris County in Parsippany, Jake’s Place in Cherry Hill, Challenger Place in Colts Neck, Votee Park in Teaneck.
INCLUSION Below is a parent resource which may be of interest. Dr. Alisha Thom-Hayes is a clinician at West Morris Psychological Associates in Chester. West Morris is offering multiple groups detailed below that the practice offers. One group of note is the STRONG Girls coping skills group which focuses on improving coping skills in middle and high school aged girls. Please contac them for further information.
West Morris Psychological Associates
Parenting for ADHD: Support and Strategies for Parents
This 10-week group provides parents of children with ADHD and other behavioral concerns (ages 2-12) with a supportive community to learn effective child behavior management skills and strategies.
Circle of Security Parenting Group
During the course of this 8-week group, parents will learn strategies to help understand and manage their child’s behavior in a mutually respectful way, developing tools to enhance self-esteem, foster independence, and strengthen the parent-child relationship. This group is designed for parents of children from infancy through adolescence.
Strong Girls: A Coping Skills Group
This is a group for preteen and teenage females (grades 5-12) who are experiencing challenges related to middle school or high school. The goal of this 8-week group is to provide girls with effective, healthy coping skills to help manage emotions and improve relationships.
Social Skills Program
Our social skills groups run on an 8-week cycle and the curriculum is tailored to meet the particular needs of the children (preschool through high school) in the group. Some topics covered include anger management, conversation skills, and good sportsmanship.
Please visit our website for more information on all of our groups.
West Morris Psychological Associates
245 Main Street, Suite 201, Chester, NJ 07930
Flanders Pediatric Dentistry - www.flanderspediatric.
My Children's Dentist - Dr. Dyson, Washington NJ - http://www.dysondds.com/
Check MorrisSussex Resource Net - http://www.morrissussexresourcenet.org/news-events/events/ - events are updated regularly and include webinars, presentations, recreational events, etc. for children with special needs and their families
Some upcoming events include:THURSDAY, JANUARY 23
Learn how these federal benefits programs can help your family member and how to apply.MONDAY, FEBRUARY 24
Autism New Jersey is proud to offer a conference tailored specifically to the concerns of families with children from 14 years old and up.SATURDAY, APRIL 4
Now in its 6th year, this half-day event is designed to give parents of children and teens with disabilities, and the dedicated educators and support staff who work with them, the tools they need to be informed, engaged, and empowered to secure the best outcomes for their children and students!
The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards recognizes the following resorts that have obtained certification as "Certified Autism Centers"
Beaches Resorts - Jamaica and Turks and Caicos
Grand Palladium Bavaro Suites Resorts and Spa - Dominican Republic
Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts - Punta Cana
Sawgrass Marriott Gold Resort and Spa - Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida
Villa Key - Orlando, Florida
For more information on vacationing with children with special needs, visit AutismTravel.com