It’s important to find activities for loved ones with disabilities during the summertime. Although summer is the favorite season of many New England residents, for individuals with disabilities, the summer can be especially difficult. For children, the routine of school is no longer in place and for adults, vacations and schedule changes are often more prevalent—all of which can leave everyone feeling anxious and unsure of what to expect.

In talking with Angela Waring, MS, respite and recreation program manager at JF&CS, she reiterated the importance of maintaining structure throughout the summer months. “When children or adolescents are faced with downtime, that is when unwanted behaviors can occur,” says Waring. “If you are able to provide your children with choices, activities and clear expectations, you will most likely find your summer months to be far more enjoyable.” There are plenty of resources nearby for kids and adults for summer fun.

If your loved one enjoys the water, there are opportunities for them to beat the heat in the pool! JF&CS offers the HALO Swim and Sing program that offers 1:1 individualized therapeutic recreation and socialization for children and young adults with moderate to severe neurological and physical disabilities while providing three hours of respite for their parents. And, of course, the pool at the JCC of Greater Boston is always a wonderful place to cool down. They offer adapted aquatics lessons, as well as other classes for children, teens and adults with special needs.

Yachad New England has several activities available for teens and young adults with special needs. Join them at the swan boats and picnic in the park on July 8, or at their ongoing summer bowling league. Or maybe make a new friend to go with to a summer concert, to the beach or simply to enjoy the wonderful summer weather. JBBBS is a wonderful resource that can help adults with disabilities find a special friendship.

If you are looking for a specific type of summer program or accessible summer activities, you can also contact the Disability Resource Network at drn@jfcsboston.org or 781-693-5574. They can help you find a variety of summer activities, ranging from athletic events to science fairs and everything in between! With a little planning, you can ensure that this summer will be one filled with fun and positive excitement.

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