The JCC is committed to making it possible for individuals with special needs to participate in JCC activities. While inclusion is not yet possible for every individual with special needs, we are working toward it.
Fun & Fitness with Friends
Fun & Fitness with Friends is a recreation program specifically designed for children with special needs. There are two groups, one for ages 6-12 and one for ages 13-18. The program meets on Sunday afternoons. For details, see the Fun & Fitness with Friends web page.
Summer Camp Inclusion Program
APJCC Summer Camp is committed to including children with special needs alongside their siblings, neighbors and friends. Our camp's Inclusion Program is tailored to support and facilitate social development, peer interaction, athletic skills and creative skills in a fun and nurturing environment. This program is not appropriate for all children; admission decisions will be made on an individual basis. Please contact Andrew Mendes, the JCC's Recreation Director, at email@example.com or 408.357.7447 to discuss your child's participation.
Inclusion Programs for Adults
For information on inclusion programs for adults, please contact the JCC staff member in charge of the individual program that interests you.
Fitness/Aquatics/Personal Training for Children and Adults
The struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle is challenging for everyone, and it can be especially challenging if you have special needs. The JCC Fitness Center and Aquatics Center are committed to accommodating exercisers with special needs whenever possible.
Physical activity has many benefits for children and adults with special needs, including
- Allows for release of positive or negative energy
- Builds self-esteem
- Improves social interaction
- Improves focus and function of daily living skills
- Weight loss if needed
- Can reduce anxiety
- Have fun while getting fit
Individuals with physical or developmental disabilities requiring assistance may be able to exercise with one of the JCC's Certified Personal Trainers. There is a fee for this service. For details, contact personal trainer Linda Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a testimonial from a family whose autistic son has been working with Linda:
This testimonial begins at my last hope. I had taken my autistic son to nearly every other gym in town, searching for that right person who knew how to get him motivated and functioning. (He) was 210 pounds of flabby frustration. We knew he would feel better if he could expend some of that pent-up energy and work off some of that notoriously bad diet, typical to autistic children, but how to get him to comply was another ballgame entirely. I had tried to take him myself; that was a disaster! He would literally run from machine to machine causing more of a disturbance on the floor than anything else. He was still unfocused and lethargic and it was exhausting for me.
Then we found Linda. Not only does she understand (him) and his sometimes quite challenging condition, she knows how to get him to use the equipment properly and focus on an actual workout. The results have been amazing! After about three months (he) can now endure 45 minutes of intense cardiac training, as well as follow directions in the pool, and even join in a spin class! He has lost 10 pounds...He looks and feels better, and sleeps better, too.
Linda has been the motivational tool and skill set for which we had been praying. We are so thankful to have found the JCC and Linda Thompson to train our special needs child! It is yet another concern for parents with special kids to stress about the health and fitness of their loved one. We can not thank her, or recommend her expertise, enough!
Jennifer and Thomas B.