Pathways for Exceptional Children
Optimal recreational activities for children with autism include regular social interaction with typically developing peers who live nearby and have had special training. the applicant has successfully built over 35 such recreational programs for children with special needs in Montville Township, New Jersey. of the participating children with special needs, 50-70 percent have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum. the applicant now seeks funding to expand its programs within Montville Township and to build a satellite program and training center in Union County, New Jersey. the programs and activities to be expanded in Montville Township and initiated in Union County include: 1) Team sports and recreational activities, including baseball, tennis, bowling, golf, swimming, soccer and the like; 2) Acceptance and Awareness programs, including a 2-hour training for typically developing children that teaches them how to understand and work with their non-typically developing peers; 3) Learning through Life, a program that integrates academics and life skills for children with special needs (e.g., teaching math through a cooking project); 4) Magic of Reading, a program that matches each child with the reading strategy best suited to him or her; and 5) Statewide Outreach and Educational Reform, a collaboration with parents, schools and other locales to set up programs modeled on the applicant's.