<-Does this look familiar to you?
Many families I work with report that taking their child out in public can be impossible. They've said that while they wish they could enjoy festivals, movies, and other outings as a family, it is just too overwhelming for their child with sensory differences.
I love when a family comes in on a Monday morning to play with me and shares about a success that their child had over the weekend. Recently a mother shared with me how her child (my client) was able to successfully participate in various outings (a children's birthday party and a concert)! Outings that, a few months ago, would have been too much--too loud, too bright, too chaotic--for his nervous system to take in and process. The relief and joy that a family has from forming these positive memories is profound. Typically such events are preceded with anxiety from parents of children with sensory processing differences. They worry, understandably, about how their child will fare and if something unexpected will happen that will lead their little one to have a breakdown. While I am not with the families I work with over the weekend to experience these successes, I am overjoyed to hear these stories and I feel so much satisfaction in those moments. After all, it is my job to help the parents to experience these moments! Monday's aren't so bad after all!
Since I know just how important it is for you to connect as a family and to be able to have places to go together, I have compiled a list of events that are in the San Jose area for families to participate in. While these locations/events are "special needs" friendly, they are not limited to families that have a child with a special need. In general, I find that these are toddler and family friendly as well. I have broken my list into One Time Events, Ongoing Events, and Places.
Disclaimer: Please check with the event organizer or business for most up to date times, dates, and locations as they are subject to change. Also, it is suggested for you to contact the organizer to determine if the setting is an appropriate environment for you child's unique needs.
ONE TIME EVENTS
Animal Assisted Happiness Holiday Fun - December 14th 2:30-4:30
The mission of Animal Assisted Happiness is to enrich the lives of children experiencing health and/or family challenges. We provide local destinations where children and their family members interact with animals to bring moments of happiness and smiles into their lives. The Holiday Fun event will be held at their Cupertino location. Santa will be there along with the animals, treats, and Family Fun!
Reading to Dogs - December 6th at 1:00pm
Children are invited to practice reading to gentle, trained assistance dogs just longing for kids to read to them. Share your favorite story and make a new furry friend!
CARING SANTA IS COMING TO TOWN! - December 7th and 14th 8:00-10:30am
Caring Santa is coming to the Stanford Shopping Center. Caring Santa is unique experience, where children with special needs and their families are invited to a special photo session with Santa in an environment set up to support the sensory, physical and other developmental needs of kids with all abilities. To RSVP for the event visit www.caringsanta.com.
Sensory Friendly Films at Cupertino AMC - Once a Month
This program provides a special opportunity for families to enjoy their favorite films in a safe and accepting environment. The auditoriums dedicated to the program have their lights up, the sound turned down and audience members are invited to get up and dance, walk, shout or sing!
Next Showtime: Saturday, December 6, 2014 - PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR
All shows are at 10:00 am local time. Dates and films are subject to change.
Shining Stars Respite - Every Other Month
Shining Stars Respite is a program designed especially for families of children with special needs and their siblings. Every other month Calgary Church provide families the opportunity to leave their children in a safe, FUN and loving environment while providing a much needed break time for the parents/care-givers. Each child is paired with a carefully selected volunteer whose sole goal is to ensure a memorable time for the child. A registered nurse is present at all times. There is no charge. Pre-registration is required.
Inclusive Storytime and Stay & Play
All children ages 3-8 and their families are invited to participate in this lively and interactive monthly story time. Children with varying learning styles and abilities learn together in a safe and supportive environment where respect and appreciation for differences is encouraged.
We Rock the Spectrum - Berkley, CA
WRS-Berkley is a dream land for kids with and without special needs! They have a huge facility that houses the following equipment:
Leave a comment to share your favorite family friendly or special needs friendly event or location around the Bay Area!