Inclusive activities for fitness, fun and fundamentals.
Published: January 2, 2020
In Miami-Dade County, a child with special needs has the opportunity to do just about any activity any child can do. Organizations from Miami-Dade Parks to the Special Olympics offer a variety of programs — from swimming to soccer, cheerleading to horseback riding, bowling to yoga — to help keep kids with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities active and engaged.
Here is a selection of what’s available:
Shake-a-Leg Miami-We Can Sail: Ages 7-18 with intellectual, developmental, physical, emotional, visual and/or hearing disability. Participants spend the day sailing, kayaking and/or a powerboat ride. Saturdays through May 30, noon-3:30pm. Shake-A-Leg Miami, Coconut Grove, 305-858-5550, Ext. 200, Craigkirkart@gmail.com, email@example.com, www.shakealegmiami.org
Junior Wheelchair Tennis Program: For physically disabled elementary and middle school children with a moderate-to-high cognitive level. Free. Crandon Park Tennis Center, 7300 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne, and Big Five Tennis Club, 600 SW 92 Ave., Miami. 305-234-4948.
Special Olympics: Ages 8 and older with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Year-round sports training and competition in 18 sports. www.specialolympicsflorida.org/miami-dade
The Paralympic Experience: The free annual event highlights various Paralympic and adapted sports. Participants can try first-hand various sports and sports equipment and meet with local Paralympians, athletes, and coaches. March 14, Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40 St., Miami, 305-234-1673.
12th Man Football And Cheer Camp: Ages 3 and older with intellectual, developmental, physical, emotional, visual and/or hearing disability. Free one-day camp in Miami in March. 305-970-6077, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.12thmanfcc.org
Autism Soccer Supercup Miami: Tournament with four age brackets from 4-19, April 4-5, Amelia Earhart Park, 401 E. 65th St., Hialeah, 305-771-3506, email@example.com,
Miami-Dade County Parks programs
Learn-to-Swim: All ages, classes in group and individual settings. Saturdays through May, hours vary. A.D. Barnes Park, 3401 SW 72 Ave., Miami. $40/8 group sessions, $150/8 individual lessons. Advanced registration is required. 305-694-4889.
Adapted Aquatics: Saturdays through May at South county locations. $40/8 group sessions; $150/8 individual classes, plus $15 registration. 786-635-9657 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
S.T.A.R.S. Saturday Sports: Ages 6-12, 10-11am, and ages 13-19, 11am-noon, through May. Aquatics, baseball, basketball, flag football, soccer, and more. $40/8 group sessions; $150/8 individual classes, plus $15 registration. Pre-registration required. North county, 305-935-4588, email@example.com; Central county, 305-222-2128, ArleneB@miamidade.gov
Sports Programs for Children with Autism: Ages 6 and older. Tennis, basketball, soccer, fencing and others. $40/8 group sessions, plus $15 registration fee. Central county: Tamiami Park, 11201 SW 24 St., Miami, 305-222-2128. North county: 18995 W. Dixie Hwy., Miami, 305-935-4588.
Jr. Paralympic Sports Club: Ages 9-16. Active games, SPARK activities and rotating sports for youth who have a physical or visual disability. Saturdays, 10am–noon. Camp Matecumbe, 13841 SW 120 St., Miami. $40/8 sessions. Advanced registration is required. 305-234-1673, firstname.lastname@example.org
Wheelchair Basketball: Ages 16 years and older. Team practice for Miami Heat Wheels wheelchair basketball team as well as skill development for novice players. Saturdays through March, 2-4pm. Locations to be determined. Free. Limited basketball wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Advanced registration is required. Call 305-752-4966 for more information.