Our Fall Favorites!

Today marked the first official day of autumn. With the cooler weather setting in, it is a good time to find some activities to keep your family busy during the months to come. Look no further! We have compiled a list of our favorite New England activities which are more accommodating to the Special Needs Community. The activities are divided into the following categories:

SPECIAL EVENTS
RECREATION AND SPORTS
MUSEUMS AND FINE ARTS
MOVIES
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

SPECIAL EVENTS

Autism Friendly Performance of Cinderella*
Location: Boston Opera House in Boston, MA
Sunday, October 4th at 5:30 PM
*Advanced Purchase Required
More Info

Sensory Friendly Halloween Party
Location: Recreational Education Center in Peabody, MA
Sunday, October 25th 11 AM – 2 PM
FREE Event
More Info 

RECREATION AND SPORTS

Recreational Education Center
Locations: Peabody, MA and Londonderry, NH
Open REC: Daily
Every Tuesday-Sunday
More Info

Pollard Library Lego Time
Location: Lowell, MA
Lego Time for Kids with Special Needs: Monthly*
Next event: Saturday, October 3rd at 10 AM
*Advanced Registration Required.
More Info

Altitude Trampoline Park
Location: Billerica, MA
Sensory Friendly Saturdays: Weekly
Next Event: Saturday, October 3rd
More Info

Launch Trampoline Park
Location: Watertown, MA and Nashua, NH
Special Needs Day: Monthly
Next Event: Tuesday, October 6th
More Info Watertown
More Info Nashua

Cowabunga’s Indoor Inflatable Playground
Locations: North Reading, MA and Hooksett, NH
Kids with Special Needs Night: A Few Times a Year*
Next event: Thursday, October 8th 5 PM – 7 PM
*Advanced Registration Required
More Info

Ultimate Sports Program
Locations: Westfield, MA and other parts of Massachusetts
Social Inclusion Through Sports: Ongoing
Now Accepting Registrations
More Info

For more recreation ideas click here to visit the Sped Child Mass website.

MUSEUMS AND FINE ARTS

Boston Conservatory Music
Location: Boston, MA
Music Programs for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
Class Registration
More Info

Museum of Fine Arts
Location: Boston, MA
Beyond the Spectrum: Monthly*
Next Event: Saturday, October 3rd 10:30 AM – 12 PM
*Advanced Registration Required
More Info

Children’s Museum of NH
Location: Dover, NH
Exploring Our Way: Monthly
Next Event: Sunday, October 4th
More Info

Boston Children’s Museum
Location: Boston, MA
Morningstar Access: Monthly*
Next Event: Monday, October 12th 8 AM – 10 AM
*Advanced Registration Required
More Info

Discovery Museum
Location: Acton, MA
Especially for Me: Monthly*
Next Event: Saturday, October 17th 5 PM – 8:30 PM
*Advanced Registration Required: FREE
More Info

MOVIES

AMC Theaters
Locations: Braintree, MA; Burlington, MA; Framingham, MA; Methuen, MA; Tyngsboro, MA
Sensory Friendly Films: Monthly
Next event: Saturday, September 26th at 10 AM
More Info

Cinemagic
Locations: Sturbridge, MA; Portsmouth, NH; South Portland, ME
Sensory Friendly Movies: Monthly
Next event: Saturday, September 26th at 10 AM
More Info

Chunky’s Cinema Pub
Locations: Nashua, NH; Pelham, NH; Haverhill, MA
Sensory Friendly Movies: Monthly
Next event: Wednesday, November 18th at 4 PM
More info

O’Neil Cinemas
Location: Epping, NH
Sensory Friendly Flix: Monthly
Next event: Sunday, September 27th at 10 AM
More Info

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
Some organizations and groups that have offered sensory friendly events in the past and may continue to do so for 2016 are as follows:

Autism Eats
Location: Northern Massachusetts
Committed to offering restaurant dining experiences to families with loved ones with Autism. Check their webpage to see when the next dinner is being held.
More Info 

Open Door Theater
Location: Acton, MA
Offered a Sensory Friendly performance of Peter Pan in March of 2015
More Info

photo 5

Superhero Staff from last year’s Annual Halloween Party!

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Reserve Now for School Vacations and Holidays at the REC

With the school year just around the corner, now is the best time to plan out upcoming days off from school. The REC is committed to providing constant ABA programming, all year-round.  As many of our REC families know, this means support during school vacation weeks and some minor holidays. Due to the high demand, space for the vacation and holiday programming is limited and not guaranteed. In order to be considered for a spot, enrolled REC families must first complete the Vacation and Holiday Request Form and return by email or drop off at the center.

You may download the form by clicking on the below relevant link:

MA REC Vacation Request Form- Peabody, MA
To be returned by email to scheduling@recreationaleducationcenter.com

NH REC Vacation Request Form- Londonderry, NH
To be returned by email to schedulingnh@recreationaleducationcenter.com

*Please note that completing and returning this form does not guarantee a space in the Vacation/Holiday programs. REC families will be contacted by staff to confirm availability.

If your child(ren) are not currently enrolled and attending the REC, you must first complete the intake process which may take at least 20-30 days depending on availability and insurance processing. Please email info@recreationaleducationcenter.com to request an intake packet.

Traveling with Special Needs

At times, just the thought of traveling can stir up feelings of anxiety for families who have children or young adults with special needs. With families recently making headlines about their travels with special needs children, many families are left feeling overwhelmed.

Whether traveling near or far, there are many resources out there to help ease the stress and make the trip enjoyable for everyone, especially your special child!

See below for various travel links, tips and suggested vacation spots.*

Travel Agents who specialize in Special Needs Travel

ASD Vacations
Free of charge travel agent service. They contract with hundreds of destinations and resorts for adaptive and special needs friendly experiences.

Autism on the Seas
Cruises for adults and families living with Autism, Down Syndrome and other related disabilities.

Autism Adventure Travel
Individual and Group trips for families and individuals living with Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome and even Wounded Soldiers.

Hammer Travel
Customized trips to fit the needs of each individual family, with all disabilities. They offer both domestic and international trips.

Preparing for Travel

Wings for Autism
Now a nationally recognized program, Wings for Autism is run out of Boston Logan International Airport and gives families the chance to experience a flying test run.

Pre-flight Tips and Check-list
Tips ranging from what types of tickets to book to making a backup plan.

Flying Social Story
Developed by a mom of a 6 year old boy with autism.

kid with airplane

*The purpose of this blog post is to provide information on the various special needs travel resources available to the community. The Recreational Education Center, LLC does not endorse or recommend any of the listed agencies or companies.

REC Staff Spotlight: Senior Programming Team

After three short years, we consider the REC to be a well-oiled machine. We have great REC staffers to thank for that! Every staffer contributes so much to make each day fun and educational for the children and teens attending. As we approach another great summer of Camp REC it is the perfect time to introduce the Senior Programming Team and give you a little glimpse of their day-to-day!

Mark Williams, Clinical Director
Mark joined the REC team in 2013, but it is already impossible to imagine the REC without him! As an experienced BCBA, he came to the REC ready to lead and assist in training the team. Not only does he oversee all of the REC staffers, but he also works directly with families to confirm the best possible treatment plans for the students. Mark’s active engagement has made him fully vested in the well-being of both the staff and the students. Mark’s clinical background gives him the tools he needs to ensure all ABA programming runs smoothly and attains results.

Have you ever wondered who is behind all of the fun themes, marvelous art projects, delicious recipes, daily activities, Camp REC activity schedules and more? All of the staff contributes on a daily basis, but the ones leading the charge on all things REC are our amazing Program Coordinators! It takes true passion to accomplish what they do and it is time to meet them!

Reagan Cassidy, Program Coordinator (Early Childhood)
Reagan is a native of Peabody and has been working in the special education field her entire career.  Looking for something new and different, she came to the REC, and we are so glad she did! Reagan’s job description has evolved over the past 3 years as she is always taking on new responsibilities. Her role includes assessing new students, writing treatment plans, working with students, training staff, planning activities and more.

You will usually find Reagan in early to prep themed activities such as holiday art projects, butterfly catching for insect week, kite flying for the windy spring days and even organizing an environmental clean-up day. Reagan has also mastered the art of throwing the perfect REC Birthday Party! We are so excited to see what fun ideas Reagan has for Camp REC this summer!

Nancy Pierce, Program Coordinator (Teen Center)
Nancy is also a native of Peabody and an experienced special educator who came to the REC from our sister company, Creative Behavioral Solutions– ABA Consultants. Nancy could easily be known as ‘Chef Nancy’! Not only does Nancy help plan all of the fun REC cooking activities, but she also bakes all of the cupcakes for REC Birthday Parties. She creates the annual REC cookbook which each Camp REC attendee receives at the end of the summer.  In addition to her skills in the kitchen, Nancy’s role also includes assessing new students, writing treatment plans, working with students, training staff, planning activities and more. 

Nancy’s experience made her a perfect fit to take on our Teen Center when it opened in 2013 and it is great to see her creativity at work in every project they do. 

Mark, Reagan and Nancy

Mark, Reagan and Nancy

Thank you Mark, Reagan and Nancy for all that you do! To read more about the REC Staff visit our website. Stay tuned for more staff spotlights throughout the year!

Are you interested in becoming a part of Team REC? Join us and LOVE where you work! Now hiring for both MA and NH locations. Full and part-time positions are available. Email jobs@recreationaleducationcenter.com for more details.