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SOMERSET COUNTY & PLAINFIELD YMCA - HomeFor Youth Development; For Healthly Living; For Social Responsibility
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Programs for Children with Special Needs

Hillsborough YMCA

Creative Movement (Ages 6 years to 14 years)
  • Creative Movement for Children with Different Abilities or Special Needs (Ages 6 years to 14 years)
    Come dance with us in a safe, structured environment led by staff with 15+ years experience with children with different abilities. We will work on creative self expression, body awareness, social skills and developing strengths. Being different is what makes us beautiful! We welcome everyone in this class.

    Classes are 45 minutes long.

Somerset Hills YMCA

Our programs for children, ages 5 years to 18 years, with special needs provide the opportunity to engage in exercise and recreation while they enjoy building self-confidence, social skills and a sense of accomplishment.

For more information, please contact Kim DeZutter at 908 766 7898 x507 or via webmail.


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Saturdays in Motion (SIM) (Ages 3 years to 15 years)

Recently celebrating its 26th anniversary, Saturdays in Motion is the longest running recreational program for children with autism in the United States. Children living with autism and their families join together at the Y on certain Saturdays for two hours of recreation at Somerset Hills YMCA. This program is run by YMCA volunteers who carefully guide the children through an hour of gym time and a second hour in the pool. Siblings are welcome. This mission-based program is free to the community.

Media Coverage of Saturdays in Motion

At the Y, we understand the stress and challenges that often come with caring for an individual with special needs. We hope to support families with programs that offer fun and joy while helping you to connect and grow together through enriching experiences.

The Saturdays in Motion Program runs from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. The first hour (4:00-5:00) is in the gym and the second hour (5:00-6:00) is in the pool.

In an effort to ensure that we have adequate space and volunteers, and to ensure safety, we require that every child participating in SIM be pre-registered for each event. Walk-in registrations cannot be accepted. Parents must stay at the Y for the duration of the program. Program runs Fall - Spring. 

The safety of children and all who use our facility is a top priority at the Somerset County & Plainfield YMCA. All adult members, guests and visitors must provide a state or government-issued photo ID to enter the facility. Our buildings are protected by Raptor, an instant screening program which will allow the Somerset County & Plainfield YMCA staff to better protect our members and guests from potential threats. The Raptor System screens for registered sex offenders in all 50 states and is used by more than 12,000 schools and facilities nationwide to keep children safe.  Please come to the Y prepared to present a photo ID.

For more information, please contact Kim DeZutter at 908 766 7898 x507 or via webmail.

During the 2019-2020 school year the program will run on the dates listed below, which may register for by clicking on the register button. Please note that you  may only register for the next session of SIM once the current session is completed (for example, the 10/12/19 session will open up on 9/29/19). 


  • Saturdays in Motion

Special Olympics Swim Team (Ages 12 years and above)

Our Special Olympics Swim Team competes at the local, county, state and national level. Practices begin in December and go through June.

For more information, please contact Kim DeZutter at 908 766 7898 x507 or email.

S.T.A.R.S. Swim Lessons for Children with Special Needs (Ages 3 to 12 years)
S.T.A.R.S. (Sharing Therapies And Realizing Self Strengths) Swim Lessons for children with special needs group children together based on similar abilities and guide them through swim lessons in a smaller staff-to-student ratio than traditional swim classes. To help select the appropriate class for your child, please see our Swim Lesson Selector tools. For children who require individual attention, please inquire about our Private Swim Lessons.

  • S.T.A.R.S. Beginner (Ages 3 to 12 years)

    This class is designed to mirror a typical Preschool Stage 1 or Stage 2 YMCA swim class, with the ultimate goal of moving participants to a traditional swim class. 1:3 ratio.

    Classes are 30 minutes long.

  • S.T.A.R.S. Intermediate (Ages 3 to 12 years)
    This class is designed to mirror a typical Preschool Stage 4 or School Age Stage 3 YMCA swim class, with the ultimate goal of moving participants to a traditional swim class. 1:3 ratio.

    Classes are 30 minutes long.

  • S.T.A.R.S. Advanced Beginner (Ages 3 to 12 years)
    This class is designed to mirror a typical Preschool Stage 3-4 or School Age Stage 2 YMCA swim class, with the ultimate goal of moving participants to a traditional swim class. 1:3 ratio.

    Classes are 30 minutes long.

  • S.T.A.R.S. Swim Classes (Ages 3 to 12 years)

    These swim lessons are designed for children with special needs who may not be able to participate in traditional lessons. Children reap the benefits of smaller class sizes and more individualized instruction.

    Classes are 30 minutes long.

Somerville YMCA


Special Needs Swim Classes & Programs (Ages 6 to 11 years)

  • Special Needs - Stage 1: Water Acclimation
    For children with moderate to severe neurological, physical or social challenges. Instructor teaches students how to swim and provides guidance on in-water exercises. Adult must accompany the child in the water.