SPECIAL NEEDS

ABOUT SPECIAL NEEDS PROGRAMS

FOR CHILDREN, TEENS AND ADULTS

The YMCA has been the leader serving those with disabilities, special needs, and developmental challenges. Learning to read, tying your shoe, going on your first field trip, working at your first job, or simply making a new friend are experiences that create lasting memories. For individuals who have special needs, reaching these milestones come with unique challenges.

The Y currently offers inclusion afterschool and summer programs at elementary and middle schools with programming above and beyond the quality standard using evidence-based components: Project Based Learning /STEAM, YFit using SPARK curriculum, Family Involvement Initiatives, Literacy Activities and academic enrichment through homework help and technology.

Our high school programs provide opportunities for older students to learn, grow and thrive as independent members of a community. 

special needs program

ABOUT THE Y MOST PROGRAM

Y MOST (MAXIMIZING OUT OF SCHOOL TIME)

The Y MOST (Maximizing Out of School Time) program is designed for children, teens and adults ages 4-22 with a wide range of special needs, including physical, developmental, sensory and learning disabilities. The service structure and program schedules closely mirror that of a typical Y afterschool or summer program.

special needs program

ABOUT THE Y STEP PROGRAM

Y STEP (SUPPORTED TRAINING EMPLOYMENT PROGRAM)

Y STEP (Supported Training Employment Program) helps teens and young adults with special needs ages 16-22 transition to independence. During the school year, Y STEP students identify and explore post-secondary career and educational interests to develop the skills needed to become successful adults. During the summer, participants are in supported work environments.

ABOUT ADAPTIVE RECREATION

EVERYONE DESERVES A CHANCE TO PLAY

The YMCA of South Florida and the City of Pembroke Pines have collaborated to provide Adaptive Sports and Swim Buddies. The Adaptive Sports Program provides a noncompetitive and competitive atmosphere for participants to actively engage in modified sports through a warm and encouraging environment.

Individualized modifications are made to meet the needs of participants and carefully assembled and taught at each participant’s level of ability and incorporated at each individual’s physical, emotional, social, and cognitive level.

The program helps build fundamental skills,  social development, family involvement, and friendships that last a lifetime.

sensory play

TINY STARS

Dive into a world of exploration with YMCA’s Tiny Starts program, designed for children ages 2-4. Embark on a journey of joyful discovery alongside your little one in our Parent-and-me swim and recreational classes, where every splash, step, and song is a celebration of growth and achievement.

With a nurturing environment focused on sensory play, music, movement, and more, we guide each child through important milestones, fostering confidence and camaraderie every stroke of the way. 

REC STARS

From mastering fundamental skills to forging lifelong friendships, every moment in Rec Starts is empowering. For ages 4 – Adulthood, this program features a myriad recreational activities that promote team work and build social skills year-round.

rec stars

STARS ATHLETES | SPECIAL OLYMPICS

Embark on a journey of inclusivity and triumph with the YMCA’s Stars Athlete program – a dynamic collaboration between the Special Olympics of Broward County, YMCA of South Florida, and the City of Pembroke Pines.

This program provides a competitive atmosphere in a variety of sports all year round for participants ages 8 years and older – with and without a disability – to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy, and build friendship.

special olympics

SWIM BUDDIES

Our Swim Buddies program is offered year round for individuals with special needs ages 4 & older. Swimmers are matched with a qualified “Swim Buddy” volunteer! Their volunteers practice basic swim safety skills that the participants may already know, while the Certified Swim Instructors guide the class and teach participants new skills. Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists are available poolside to offer a variety of techniques to modify and adapt the lesson.

Swim Buddies aims to help participants adjust to being in the water, learning drowning prevention skills, and fundamental swimming techniques. We strive to foster communication, social, and overall wellness for all our participants!

swim buddies

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

MAKE A DIFFERENCE

Join our volunteer team and gain community service hours, letters of recommendation for college programs or employment, learn more about special needs in community settings, and make a lasting impact on someone’s life!

No experience necessary for any sport or for working with disabilities. We offer weeknights and weekends with an average of 6 hours per week, all year round! 

volunteer special needs

CONTACT US

Special Needs

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