Special Events & Resources for Special Kids
In honor of National Autism Awareness Month/Autism Acceptance Month, we’ve rounded up special events and resources tailored just for kids with autism and/or special needs. Kidsguide is dedicated to bringing a little bit of happiness to all families.
Special Events & Activities
Autism Walk or Run in Los Angeles
Saturday, April 13 at 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Free community event with multiple vendors providing resources for parents with autistic children. Many non-profits from the Wilmington Community will also be on site.
Stepping for Autism at Tomorrow’s Aeronautical Museum in Compton
Saturday, April 13 at 8 a.m – noon
Free community event with live entertainment, resource and food vendors, rock climbing, guest speakers and more. The walk is approximately 3 miles from start to finish.
Autism Speaks Walk at the Rose Bowl
Saturday, April 27 at 8:30 a.m.
The community is powered by love and built on the commitment of individuals like you. Start a team, join a team or come on your own. Walk and fundraise together to enhance the lives of people living with autism.
Family Autism Night at Pretend City Children’s Museum
Monday, April 29 at 5:00 p.m.
This special evening is an opportunity for children and their parents/siblings/caretakers to have some fun in an autism-friendly environment along with other families. Community partners, who specialize in supporting children on the autism spectrum, will be on-hand to enrich your family’s play experience with welcoming smiles and practical support.
T4A Annual Autism Awareness Fair 2019 in Norwalk
Sunday, May 5 at 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Fair admission is completely free for everyone at this fun-filled family event. They provide activities and exhibits designed to enlighten the community on many of the services and resources available for families with kids on the spectrum.
Autism Family Morning at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Saturday, September 7 at 7 – 9 a.m.
Join the Aquarium for a special morning exclusively for families with children or adults with autism. This will be a morning when guests can enjoy the tranquility of their exhibits and meet 11,000 animals from the world’s largest ocean.
Special Programs & Resources
AMC Sensory-Friendly Films
AMC is proud to partner with the Autism Society to offer unique movie showings where they turn the lights up, and turn the sound down, so you can get up, dance, walk, shout or sing! The Sensory Friendly Film program is available on the second and fourth Saturday (family-friendly) and Tuesday evenings (mature audiences) of every month. Check your local theater listings for specific showtimes.
Harkins Theatres Sensory-Friendly Screenings
Movies are meant to be enjoyed by everyone, and that is why Harkins Theatres has introduced Sensory Friendly Screenings. One Saturday each month at 9:45 a.m., select Harkins locations will present a family-friendly film in an auditorium dedicated to guests affected by autism and sensory processing disorders. Screenings include adjusted light levels, reduced sound volume and room for guest interaction. Outside snacks are also permitted to the showings. Check your local theatre listings for specific showtimes.
Best Day Foundation
Best Day Foundation enables children and young adults with special needs to build confidence and self-esteem through adventure activities which stretch their limits, expand their true potential, reinforce their achievement, and connect them with diverse populations in their community. Registration required. Check the event listings for one near you.
Newport Beach: Sunday, May 5th
Seal Beach: Saturday, May 18-19
Hermosa Beach: Saturday, June 15-16
Camp Nugget Summer Camp at California State University, Long Beach
Camp Nugget is a low-cost summer day camp programs for children with special needs and disabilities (ages 5-12). The camp provides activities in swimming, sports & games, fitness, relaxation, and breathing exercises.
Chuck E. Cheese’s Sensory Sensitive Sundays
Chuck E. Cheese’s offer a sensory-friendly experience on the first Sunday of every month at participating locations, opening stores two hours before their normal opening time. The event includes less crowding, dimmed lighting, turned down music, limited appearances by Chuck E. and more.
Down for Dance | Long Beach & Orange County
Empowering individuals with Down syndrome to build a stronger sense of self through dance classes such as hip hop, musical theatre, Down for More, and contemporary. Classes are offered in Long Beach and Orange County. Scholarships available. Call or visit website for more class information.
Friendship Circle at the Chabad Center | Newport Beach
Programs, pairing teen volunteers with special needs children and adults, include: basketball and soccer leagues, Sunday Circle with a variety of activities, and summer camps also offered.
Kelly Summer Music Therapy Studio
Music therapy for children with developmental disabilities is offered with Kelly Summer Music Therapy Studio. Music therapy can help your child to reach educational/IEP goals, improve communication, improve gross/fine motor skills, express feelings, and improve emotional and affective development. Mention Kidsguide for a free first lesson offer.
Pretend City Children’s Museum | Irvine
Pretend City offers special events that are offered monthly for families with children on the autism spectrum or with physical disabilities. These events allow children and their parents/caretakers to play in a sensitive-friendly environment along with other families.
School of Dance & Music for Children with Disabilities at Segerstrom Center for the Arts | Costa Mesa
An all-inclusive school for children with disabilities like visual impairment, autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome as well as children that are developmentally typical, to explore movement, music, and creativity.
Sensory-Friendly Performance Series at Segerstrom Center for the Arts | Costa Mesa
To give everyone in the community the opportunity to experience the joy of attending a live performance, Segerstrom now presents a series of sensory-friendly performances as part of their Family Series. Performances include reduction of sound levels, reduction of overwhelming stage lighting, patrons can talk and move around the theater, designated break spaces and more.
We Rock The Spectrum Kids Gym | Long Beach, Laguna Hills, Whittier and more
Provides social skills groups and activities for children across the spectrum. Programs and classes offered include Open Play, We Rock Care (designed to provide a break for families with special needs children), after-school programs, and parties.
For additional resources, click here.
This post was written by Alina Na