As the warm weather approaches, no doubt you’re planning summer camps and programs for your child to keep them busy when school’s out. As a mom of a child on the autism spectrum, I’ve found that many of the best kids’ programs are discovered through word of mouth.

Following are some programs I’m excited to share, since my son has greatly benefited from them and I’m so grateful someone shared them with me.

Kidnastics

For a child with special needs, gymnastics is an excellent way to develop motor skills, boost self-esteem, and encourage social interaction. But programs for typical children often are not able to tailor to the distinct needs of our kids.

Rachele Hosten at Kidnastics runs a small-scale operation that offers a personal touch for children on the spectrum. She develops personalized gymnastics programs that serves each child’s best interest.

Rachele is available for six weeks this summer. Her gymnastics classes include outdoor play opportunities and events such as visiting the Toronto Islands or Riverdale Farm. She can work with you to create custom trips, too.

Kidnastics operates out of four gyms in the GTA and consults with families and professionals to support a child’s interventions. Rachele is available by appointment only.

More info: 416-737-1255 or rachele.hosten@gmail.com

Lynne Patch Aquatics

Swimming is a skill that many parents feel is crucial for kids to learn, and I am no different. But I feared that my son’s challenges with communication would make it difficult for him to learn to swim in a typical swim program. That is why I was so happy when a friend told me about Lynne Patch Aquatics.

In the Cawthra/Dundas area of Mississauga, Lynne Patch offers private instruction—both one-on-one and small classes—for children of all levels of physical and intellectual abilities. I was truly amazed at the genuine empathy, patience and skill that my son’s instructor showed him and my son is thriving in this incredibly supportive environment.

More info: 905-897-7946 or www.swimlpa.com

Under the Umbrella Tree

This vibrant full-service educational centre for children with developmental disabilities in North York offers school-break camps throughout the year. The 2017 summer camp runs from July 4 through August 19 and can be customized to fit your family’s schedule.

There is the option of a 1:1 model (1 instructor for every 1 child) or a 2:3 model (1 instructor for every 2­:3 children). The camp features fun activities for all ages­ including baking, science experiments, visits from music and Reptilia specialists and trips to the neighborhood splash pad and pool.

The camp fee includes an assessment of your child’s learning and language skills.

More info: 416-850-9980 or undertheumbrellatree.com


Need more info? Find Toronto-area sports programs, arts programs, and more resources for kids with special needs in our online directory.

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