Parent Resources

  • As parents of children with special needs, finding the right social, recreational, and therapeutic programs can be difficult.  Sometimes finding an appropriate social activity with proper supervision and coaching can be downright overwhelming.   Through this page, we aim to keep parents informed of the following:
    • Local community providers of social and recreational opportunities, including current events and contact information for you to personally gather more information. 
    • Current providers of therapeutic recreation that you may choose to pursue privately.
    • Updates on cutting-edge private therapies and providers.  These services can range from alternative Holistic MD practices to private psychology practices that specifically work with special needs families.
    While these pursuits fall outside of services provided by the district, often parents are interested in these non-educational opportunities,and can benefit by learning about providers in our local community and what they can offer. 
     
    Check back here regularly as we plan to add new information and updates each month during the school year.
     
    Karate
    A FREE spring half-hour class will be available for students on Tuesdays at 4:30 p.m. through May.  Classes for special needs students may be offered at a reduced rate.*Parent/Guardian must be in attendance.  For information and to attend a free class call:  973-770-4555 or email njmaa.fd@gmail.com
     
     
    For information about upcoming "Rising Stars" program and a May workshop at Center Grove, please open the flyers below. 
     
    Kaleidoscope at our Local YMCA:
     
    Location:
    West Morris YMCA
    14 Dover Chester road
    Randolph, NJ  07869
     
    Program Snapshot:
    Swimming, Sports, and a Teen recreation program.
     
    Availability:
    The swim group is currently filled, however the Sports and Teen program have some available spots.  These programs provide an opportunity for the special needs child to exercise and participate in group activities with close (often 1:1) supervision and gentle encouragement to boost self-esteem.  Please note that volunteers are always welcome and would allow the program to be expanded further!
     
    Contact Information:
    Contact Debbie Popak, coordinator of the Kaleidoscope program at (973) 366-1120 for cost and other enrollment information.
     
    Website:
     
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    Soulshine Farm:
     
    Location:
    54 Park Ave.
    Randolph, NJ 07869
     
    Program Snapshot:
    Owners: "Farmer Brad" and Julie Swenson:  The whole family runs weekend and summer programs, and Julie teaches yoga classes and runs therapy sessions. 
     
    Programs Include:
    - Yoga classes (adults, children, teens, athletes, families, mother/daughter).
    - Lessons in animals care, farm chores, gardening.
    - Saturday morning specialized farm days
    - Summer day camp (yoga/arts/farm chores/animal care). 

    All programs are designed to allow children to be joyful; to explore, enjoy
    nature, learn about themselves; communicate, problem solve, and create with
    others.  The end goal is to gain confidence, independence, and peace within. 
    Additional special-needs-specific programs (specializing in behavioral and anxiety disorders, ADD/ADHD, Tourette Syndrome, OCD, and spectrum disorders.) include:
    - Private one-on-one and small group therapeutic sessions.
    - Small group yoga classes.
     
    Julie's special education experience and certifications include:
    - Special Education teacher
    - Social Worker
    - Supervisor of Instruction
    - Yoga Instructor
    - Twenty years of teaching/administration experience
    - Behavioral consultant for school districts.
    - EI Developmental intervention provider and social worker. 
    - Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey:  creates and presents many of their school based educational programs. 
    Availability:
    Yoga Classes:
    - 10-12 week sessions from September-June.
    - Class size is small (5-7 students), and classes typically fill quickly. 
    - Requests for additional class days/times are welcome.
     
    Camp:
    - 6 week summer program, Tuesdays and Thursdays for children ages 4-12.
    - Includes yoga, arts and crafts, farm chores, animal care.
    - Healthy organic snacks are provided (gluten-free, milk/casein free as needed).
    - Children in the program must have independent bathroom skills.
    - Registration begins in Early March. 
     
    Private and Small Group Sessions:
    Available on an on-going basis, scheduled weekly/biweekly, or as needed.
     
    Weekend Programs:
    Offered throughout the year, each Saturday workshop is limited to 20 students per day.
     
     
    Contact Information:
    Julie Swenson 973-895-2406
    jswenson@soulshinefarm.com

    Website:
     
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    TOP Soccer: The Outreach Program for Soccer
     
    Location:
    Mendham / Chester Area
     
    Program Snapshot:
    Governed by US Youth Soccer, this national program (since 1991) is a new effort in our area.  Designed to meet the special needs of children with physical and/or mental disabilities, the children receive soccer instruction in a fun and encouraging format.   The program typically runs for about 6 weeks each spring and fall for one hour on a Saturday morning. Each volunteer (buddy) gets matched with a player.   The players participate in a structured but very fun hour of soccer that includes drills, games, and small scrimmages.  Each "buddy" stays with his/her assigned player for the entire session.

    4.       There will be at least one field marshal to oversee the sessions.

    Availability:
    TOP Soccer will pilot this spring in the Mendham / Chester area.  Special needs children ages 7 - 13 are eligible to participate.
     
    Contact Information:
    Ben Saliterman
    (973)543-0304
     
    Website:
    N/A at this time.